Labor and Center Party ready for changes in the budget: “Much to correct”

Jonas Gahr StørePhoto: Torstein Bøe / NTB

The proposed changes in the CO2 tax could be dropped when the Labor Party (AP) and the Center Party (SP) make their mark on the Solberg government’s latest state budget proposal.

“It, unfortunately, follows a fairly well-known track,” the SP’s fiscal policy spokesman Sigbjørn Gjelsvik said when asked by NTB what he thinks about the government’s state budget for 2022.

It is now up to the new AP-SP government to make its changes to the budget and present it to the Norwegian parliament. Gjelsvik is already warning that they must look at a proposed increase in the CO2 tax of 28%.

“This was a government that did not see the whole of Norway, so there is a lot to correct in the years to come,” he said.

Tensions are still linked to what AP and SP have concluded about the CO2 tax in the government negotiations in Hurdal. The SP has previously demanded that the effect on the pump price must be zeroed out with other tax cuts if the CO2 tax is increased.

Støre: We can do a lot

“This is a very large document that we have not had access to until we heard the Minister of Finance now. We have to get into it,” Støre told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).

The budget confirms the course that the government has had for eight years, he believes.

“We can do a lot with a budget, but we must prioritize,” the Labor Party leader said. 

Støre emphasizes that his government will have a short time to come up with its changes. The Solberg government started work on the state budget in March, while the AP-SO government will submit its proposal during November.

Tajik: New course

In the budget, the Solberg government proposed to cut more in the wealth tax. From when the Solberg government took office in 2013 and until 2021, the wealth tax was cut by NOK 10 billion. Also this time, Minister of Finance Jan Tore Sanner (H) proposed cuts. It is estimated at NOK 535 million accrued and NOK 425 million in the books.

The Labor Party’s deputy leader and fiscal policy spokesperson, Hadia Tajik, did not immediately promise that the AP-SP government would scrap the previous government’s proposed tax cut.

“We must return to the details. Now, we will start with a comprehensive budget process. But there should be no doubt that we want a new course for the country, where we create secure jobs and a welfare state that works, no matter where you live and no matter the size of your wallet,” Tajik told NTB.

Oil money

The AP and SP must get support from the Socialist Left Party (SV) to get their budget through the parliament. The SV’s fiscal policy spokesperson, Kari Elisabeth Kaski, says that a new red-green majority must ensure a powerful redistribution and climate cuts.

“Now it has been eight years of welfare cuts, tax cuts to the country’s richest and an inadequate climate profile. So now we have to pick up the pace both in emissions cuts and in redistribution for Norway.”

The government proposes to spend NOK 84.4 billion less oil money next year. It is well below the 3% that is the main rule for oil money use over time.

“If the government’s estimates stand, and there are strong measures to get people into work in the budget, then it is absolutely right to reduce the use of oil money. It has been very high during the crisis, and it should be, but there has also been a high use of oil money from the Conservative government over time. Therefore, the use of oil money must be reduced,” Kaski said.

The SV will now start making its alternative budget before it enters negotiations with the incoming government on the budget for 2022.

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

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