Sp with «KrF friendly» billions for preparedness
Billions more to police, the National Guard (HV), Local Hospitals and better ambulance services. The Christian Democrats (KrF) could have cashed this in for preparedness through cooperation with the Centre Party (Sp), according to Sp’s alternative state budget.
– The Norwegian Parliament (Stortinget) is keen to provide adequate local offers. In KrF, they know that they could have achieved this together with us in terms of hospitals, police, ambulances and efforts aimed at the National Guard, says the Centre Party Leader, Trygve Slagsvold Vedum to NTB.
– The current Government places much more faith in that large units is the answer. We think the need is great for services close to where people live, Vedum continues.
In its alternative budget, which will be presented on Monday, the Centre Party will present a number of major initiatives for preparedness which, according to Vedum, are at the core for KrF – which has decided to seek entry in the Solberg Government instead.
The total effort towards preparedness, amounting to NOK 2.4 billion, is proposed to be financed by higher taxes on persons with taxable income of NOK 720,000+.
Sp also garnishes an estimated NOK 1.7 billion by removing the much-discussed VAT exemption for the foreign retail trade of up to NOK 350 in value, a scheme the Centre Party believes to adversely affect industry and workplaces in Norway.
Main tracks for preparedness
The Centre Partys emergency efforts follow three main tracks:
- For the police, the party adds up to NOK 500 million to the Police Districts and local police. What the Government dubs the near-police reform, is for a long time renamed as the remote-police reform by Vedum. He emphasizes that KrF Leader, Knut Arild Hareide, also used this term in his argument for cooperation with the Centre Party and Labour during the heated debate over the direction in that Party, which he lost.
- The Centre Party wants to spend NOK 1 billion more on the Armed Forces than the Government. A concrete proposal is to start the process of upgrading the Norwegian armed vehicles at an earlier time. With the harsh debate this autumn about the lack of object protection as a backdrop, the Centre Party wish to allocate an additional NOK 300 million to the National Guard and re-establish its naval branch.
- In the health field, Vedum wishes to spend half a billion extra on the Ambulance Services, local hospitals and maternity offer, plus NOK 100 million on the Norwegian GP scheme and Emergency Care centres.
– The Christian Democrats have added NOK 500 million to hospitals themselves, Vedum rescinds.
Fight over reforms
The Centre Party (Sp) can currently only dream of Government power. This is due to the fact that the Christian Democrats a week ago decided to ignore Hareide’s advice to seek Government power with the Centre Party and Labour (Ap) – choosing to remain in the bourgeois camp instead.
The Centre Party criticism of the Government’s reforms of municipal, regional, police and hospital structures has brought the party to wuthering heights in the polls barely a year before the municipal elections. The Government maintain that the reforms form bigger and more robust bodies, while Sp believes that the selfsame reforms weaken the public services by moving them further away.
For the police, Sp believes that much of the money ends up in the central organs and Police Directorate – or that they are used for reorganization. The party refers to the Police Federations’ (Trade Union) warnings of a police in a crisis.
– The police have a very demanding budget situation, which affects local preparedness negatively. The police are being given additional tasks – and that affects their primary objectives, Vedum lectures.
At the same time, the Centre Party is at the forefront of the struggle for local services related to hospitals and ambulances. Last week, Sp received support from KrF and the Socialist Party (SV) in the Norwegian Parliament (Stortinget) for a proposal to legislate the maximum response time for ambulances, but the proposal fell when Labour and the Government parties opposed it.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today