Sp believes that NHO rigs municipal championships to suit the Conservatives election campaign
Parliamentary leader in the Centre Party, Marit Arnstad – not surprisingly – does not pay much attention to the findings in NHO’s “municipality championships”, where large municipalities are ranked as the best and the small ones are at the bottom. NHO being the Organization of Norwegian businesses.
– This year the NHO survey is aimed at lubricating the Conservatives election campaign and creating arguments in favour of larger municipalities. To me this is useless nonsense, says Arnstad to NTB.
The NHO presented its ranking of the country’s best municipalities on Thursday, measured according to topics such as business, labour market, demography, expertise and municipal economy.
Measured against those parameters, Sola, Bærum and Oslo take the top three places, while Kvæfjord, Engerdal and Loppa end up at the bottom. NHO therefore conclude that the size of the municipality matters.
– It shows how important it is to develop large and powerful municipalities, where industry wants to invest, NHO concludes in their presentation of the survey.
Marit Arnstad strongly disagrees. She points to that small municipalities do much better in other surveys where they are measured on how they are performing.
– When the Municipal Report carries out its annual ranking of the municipalities in Norway, it is Dovre who winds up on top, she says.
The difference between the two surveys is that the Municipal Report measures other parameters. The competition centers on being the best on health, care for the elderly and service for residents, provide other winners and losers than in NHO’s survey.
In the results list from NHO’s municipality National Championship there appears to be a clear correlation between size and placement on the list.
All the five municipalities with more than 100,000 inhabitants are among the top 20. At the same time, the common denominator for all the 20 lowest ranked, is that they have less than 3,000 inhabitants.
Measures something else
– The survey behind the Municipal Report is different from ours. In the Municipal Report, municipalities that are recipients of large subsidies are successful. We look at the financial basis for the municipality in itself, in our opinion, says economist in NHO, Øystein Dørum, to NTB.
He believes it is unreasonable to allege that the survey is geared towards the Conservatives’ election campaign.
– This is the exact same survey we have presented before. The motivation is to draw attention to the importance of private initiative and large well-functioning living and working regions, says Dørum
Reciding in the west
In NHO’s annual ranking of Norwegian municipalities, Western Norway has the biggest decline, and Rogaland is the county where most municipalities drop on the list compared to 2016. Nevertheless, it is Sola Municipality, which ends up with the victory, followed by Bærum and Oslo.
Among the regions Eastern Norway, Trøndelag and Northern Norway has the most municipalities that have climbed. Akershus is the winner as counties go.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today