Norway’s government will more than halve the extra power subsidy – refuses to call it a cut

Photo: Gorm Kallestad / NTB

The Norwegian government believes that the extra housing benefit that will help the disadvantaged with the electricity bill should be reduced from NOK 2,500 to 1,000 but refuses to call it a cut.

“We do not propose to cut housing benefits. We propose to extend a scheme with extra housing support for those who have high housing costs and low income,” Minister of Local Government Bjørn Arild Gram (SP) said on Politisk Kvarter on Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) on Tuesday.

Last week, NRK wrote that the government would extend the extra housing benefit to also apply in March and April. Gram then said they would propose that the housing allowance be NOK 1,000 per household. In January and February, the extra support was NOK 2,500.

According to the Norwegian State Housing Bank (Husbanken), 97,000 households received housing benefits in March.

Gram said on Tuesday that the extra housing benefit has varied since it was introduced in November last year. Then it was just under NOK 2,950 before it went down to NOK 1,500 and then went up to NOK 2,500. 

Not calling it a cut

He refused to call the reduction from NOK 2,500 in January and February to NOK 1,000 in March and April a cut.

“No, we have in several rounds proposed to provide extra housing support. There are three different decisions over five months, and now we come up with a proposal for a fourth grant for the next two months,” Gram said.

He justifies the reduction with the fact that the weather is now milder and that electricity consumption and the need for compensation are declining.

The Socialist Left Party’s (SV) climate and environmental policy spokesman Lars Haltbrekken reacted.

“It is a pity that you should start by cutting the support for those who struggle the most. It is definitely a cut and is obviously a cut for everyone other than those in government,” he said.

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

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