Norway’s Center Party wants a VAT cut for the rest of the year

Geir PollestadPhoto: Terje Pedersen / NTB
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The Center Party believes that tourism and restaurants should have VAT reduced throughout 2021, with a halving of the tourism VAT to 6% throughout the year and a reduction of the VAT for eating at a restaurant from 25 to 15%. 

These are the crisis measures that the Center Party is now proposing to help the tourism and catering industry get out of the crisis.

“We have chosen to look at taxes because it goes directly to the bottom line,” Geir Pollestad (SP), the chairman of the business committee in the Norwegian parliament (Storting), said.

“It will be an important contribution to an industry that has had a tough time since the coronavirus came,” he said.

Pressured Nybø

During question time in the parliament on Wednesday, Pollestad pressed Minister of Trade and Industry Iselin Nybø (V) on the issue. 

He pointed out that the Liberal Party is in favor of reduced VAT when eating at a restaurant in its own party program.

A distinction must be made between crisis measures and permanent measures, Nybø warned.

“It is always easier to introduce crisis schemes than it is to end them,” she said. 

Nybø pointed out that tourism has long been eager for reduced VAT.

“It is definitely an issue they will fight for even after the pandemic because they feel that it will benefit their industry. And that, of course, is their right. But we as a government must also balance spending.”

In the proposal for a revised national budget, the government has nevertheless proposed extending the reduced VAT rate for tourism to October 1.

Fear for company towns

Pollestad fears that company towns will collapse if the business community does not get enough help to get up again after the corona pandemic.

“When you rebuild when the tourists return, we fear that you will have to rely more on visitors instead of local labor. The more central tourism is, the greater the danger, he warned. 

According to Pollestad, it could take many years before tourism in Norway returns to normal.

“The tourism industry is probably one of the industries that will need measures the longest,” he said.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayFinance

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