FrP’s plan to remove the sugar tax
Shock figures on the border make the Christian Democrats (KrF) and the Progress Party (FrP) to go after each others jugulars over the sugar tax; The alarm should have sounded a long time ago.
The explosive border trade means that 12,000 jobs in Norway are at risk.
– The alarm bells should have sounded a long time ago, says the director of the business organization Virke Grocery.
On Sunday, the Progress Party (FrP) National Convention decided to ask its own parliamentary group to consider scrapping the tax on sugar. A compromise with the Christian Democrats (KrF) meant that the Government in January increased this tax by a staggering 83 per cent. At the same time, the tax on soft drinks and other non-alcoholic beverages was increased by 42 per cent.
An analysis prepared by Menon Economics shows that the explosive border trade costs close to 12,000 Norwegian jobs and NOK 7.8 billion in lost creation of values.
On top of that comes the incurred losses attributed to online border trade. Director of Virke, Ingvill Størksen, says that it is imperative to slow down the trade leaks by scrapping the sugar tax, but that it is also crucial to remove the duty free loophole on packages worth less than NOK 350 purchased from abroad.
Provides no public health benefits
– We are pleased that FrP has listened to the trade organizations and will reverse the charge on chocolate, confectionery and non-alcoholic beverages, but it is problematic that they will not drop the NOK 350 rule as well. It is of little help that the grocery chains in Norway have done a great job to reduce the sales of sugar in their goods – as long as a customer can order candy sent from Sweden at much lower prices, she says.
Health spokesperson for the Labour Party, Ingvild Kjerkol, believes that the Progress Party (FrP) and the Minister of Finance, Siv Jensen, must submit a state budget for 2019 devoid of the tax on sugar.
The Government needs sound advice
On questions from Dagbladet about if KrF is willing to discuss the NOK 350 limit, fiscal spokesperson Kjell Ingolf Ropstad answers the following:
– KrF is concerned with value creation and creating jobs in Norway. Virke estimates that if we remove the limit, it will mean 4,500 jobs created and an increased Government revenue of at least NOK 1.7 billion. When we also know that a removal would mean an important restriction to the border trade, the Government thinks that they possess more than enough money if they say no to the removal of the NOK 350 limit.
© Dagbladet / #Norway Today