Over a period of 13 years, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has spent NOK 240 million to cover diplomats’ private housing tax expenses. Now, the scheme is being dropped.
The newspaper Aftenposten writes that Norwegian diplomats have had a salary supplement called “housing tax compensation.” This was given to diplomats to cover the tax for the benefit of having free housing abroad. Last year, 318 diplomats received extra pay to cover this housing tax.
In May this year, the scheme was scrapped when the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the workers’ organizations renegotiated the special agreement that applies to diplomats working abroad.
“In this year’s negotiations on the special agreement, it was agreed not to prioritize housing tax compensation. So it is out of the agreement,” Tore Hattrem stated.
“Both parties, the employee organizations and the employer, wanted to prioritize other schemes that are believed to be more adequate and serve the needs of both the employee and the employer in a better way,” he added.
A number of other employers in the government sector have been inspired by the Foreign Ministry’s agreement. Last year, 19 state employers provided housing tax compensation to their employees. Since 2009, at least NOK 400 million in public funds has been used to cover housing tax for government employees abroad, according to Aftenposten.
Source : © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews
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