The Centre Party wants to abolish “death tax”
The Centre Party (Sp) will ask the Parliament (Stortinget) that the proposed fee for a issuing of a death certificate should be dropped, and is supported by The Socialist Party (SV).
The temperature was high during the “Question hour” in the Norwegian Parliament on Wednesday when Centre Party leader Trygve Slagsvold Vedum repeatedly challenged Minister of Justice, Sylvi Listhaug, (Progress Party) to drop the fee, or “death tax”, as he calls it.
Why does Listhaug want to claim NOK 40 million a year from those who have lost one of their nearest and dearest, he asked
Listhaug ironically mentioned that the Centre Party had no comments on the issue when the state budget was reviewed.
– That you try to score cheap points from this, has been seen through, says Listhaug, who states that the Centre Party “is stripped bare” and has “zero credibility” in the case.
Scheduled introduction this summer
The government has proposed to impose a fee on court issuance of documents regarding the estate, the power of attorney at private transfer of ownership. The fee is to be NOK 1,130, and is scheduled to come into power as of 1 July this year.
So far this has been free of charge, something the Centre Party wants to maintain. Vedum calls it a basic welfare asset that the state should contnue to cover. Fees related to deaths must be viewed differently than other public services people have to pay for, as an example, passports, he believes.
On Thursday, the party proposes that the fee should be dropped.
Vedum explains that it was an oversight that the party did not protest when the Parliament handled the budget.
– It was a minor detail and the state budget is a document consisting of several thousand pages. – But there was no table there showing that the Government intends to garnish NOK 40 million from such a fee. We would of course reacted in that case, says Vedum to NTB.
SV says they will support the Centre Party proposal. Fiscal spokeswoman, Kari Elisabeth Kaski, argued during the Question hour that the fees is socially skewed.
– It’s about how we split costs. – This Government has given the greatest tax cuts to the richest. How can you explain that most people who inherit little should pay relatively the most, and should it not be the rich, most of whom are heirs who should pay the most, she asks.
Listhaug responds to the criticism and points to that the red-green parties garnished billions in inheritance taxes in the eight years they were in Government.
– It’s really not to believe to come here and talk about this after garnishing billions on death taxes, she says.
Listhaug emphasizes that she is merely following up on the decision the Parliament has made. She will not say whether she thinks it is appropriate to introduce the fee or not.
– This is a fee for a service that a joint Parliament has adopted. Then it’s my job as Minister of Finance to follow it up until the Storting changes its mind, she says.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today