Norway’s Liberal Party presents draft of new program: “Knowledge is the answer to everything!”

Sveinung Rotevatn - VenstrePhoto: Berit Roald / NTB
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The debate is already underway in the Liberal Party, following a proposal from the program committee to reintroduce inheritance tax. But the party is more united in the belief in knowledge before oil.

“Knowledge is actually the answer to everything. It is so simple, but also difficult,” Committee Leader Sveinung Rotevatn of the Liberal Party’s program committee told news bureau NTB.

On Thursday, he presented the first draft of a new party program, where it is proposed, among other things, to reintroduce inheritance tax, stop exploration for oil and gas, remove the exploration refund scheme for the oil industry and instead focus aggressively on climate and knowledge.

“No matter what problem you want to solve, whether it is greenhouse gas emissions, COVID-19, or social inequality, knowledge is the answer. That is why we use a lot of space in the program to strengthen our education system,” said Rotevatn.

Grilled sausage comparison

Rotevatn wants to use knowledge to convert the oil industry to new opportunities in floating offshore wind, hydrogen, and green shipping.

“The most important capital in Norway is not oil and gas, hydropower or industry. The most important capital we have is people. The more they can do, the greater opportunities they have to reach their potential in life and choose the career path they want, the more Norway will succeed.”

  • What do you think people in the oil industry will think about this draft program?

“If the Liberal Party proposed to limit the possibility of selling grilled sausages, probably people in the grilled sausage industry would be skeptical about it. But I think it is wise, also for the oil and gas industry, to adjust faster than it has done so far,” Rotevatn said.

More money for ordinary people

If the policy in the draft program is to be adopted, the committee leader believes that most people would find that they are taken more notice of, they would get more freedom and more trust from politicians.

He explains this as follows:

“This applies to everything from which subjects you can choose at school to which day of the week you want to buy food, you get a bit more trust. Then you would, of course, notice that it pays to make environmentally friendly choices, for example by buying a zero-emission car instead of a fossil-fueled car. In addition, you will be left with a little more money after paying taxes each month.”

Tax debate

When it comes to taxes, the program committee has proposed a number of measures that Rotevatn believes there can be discussions about in the party. Among other things, they will remove the tax deduction on mortgage interest, they will reintroduce the inheritance tax, and they will introduce a separate climate tax deduction.

According to the committee leader, the debate is already well underway on internal forums.

“We must make sure that we find the best balance, so that those of us who have very strong backs can contribute a little more, at the same time as the broad section of the population, those who go to work every day, and not least those who have a low income, come out better than today. We have to make it happen!”

The program committee is united on the proposals, and there are no dissenters of the first draft. The committee has also been brief, which is new this year. The draft program is 48 pages, which Rotevatn claims is the shortest since 1985. In comparison, the previous party program was 196 pages.

“This makes the program easier for readers to read,” Rotevatn added.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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