Norway is increasing financial support for laid-off workers and freelancers

Eli Tuva MoflagPhoto: Javad Parsa / NTB
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The governing parties and the Socialist Left Party (SV) reached an agreement to increase the support schemes for laid-off workers, freelancers, and the self-employed by just over NOK 830 million.

The support schemes will also be extended until March. 

The government parties (AP and SP) and the SV presented the results of their negotiations on Wednesday.

Ten different support schemes are covered by the framework, which initially had a budget of just over NOK 2.2 billion. The initial budget has now been boosted by NOK 831 million to an estimated cost framework of NOK 3.1 billion, the Center Party’s Per Olaf Lundteigen stated.

Self-employed

“For the self-employed, the schemes are extended to apply until the end of March. In addition, the coverage rate has increased from 60 to 70%,” Lundteigen stated.

This means that the self-employed, freelancers, and apprentices get up to 70% of income lost due to corona covered by the scheme.

Shortly after the lockdown in mid-December, the government announced that the measures would be extended until February. Now, they are extended until March instead.

Tuva Moflag (AP) told NTB that the changed pandemic situation makes the extension necessary.

“When we now stand here five weeks later, we operate based on the current situation. We have had very strict measures until January 14, and although there has been significant relief, we acknowledge that there is still uncertainty. The peak of infection is probably ahead of us, and there are still some geographical areas and industries that are particularly hard hit,” she said.

SV pleased

SV is very pleased to have received approval for several of its demands.

“We have come a long way when it comes to all of the requirements. We are very happy… In politics, you are never completely satisfied, but we feel we have done an important job for people who are in a difficult situation and are dependent on the welfare state,” SV deputy leader Torgeir Knag Fylkesnes told NTB.

Now groups such as artists and taxi drivers will get higher compensation, he noted.

Unemployment benefits

In addition, measures will be put in place to prevent people who have been laid off several times from having reduced unemployment benefits and thus receiving less support in case of new layoffs.

Ahead of the negotiations, the SV feared that this could become a poverty trap for particularly low-paid groups.

“We have come to a good solution,” Fylkesnes said.

Source : NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayFinance

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