The Rep Party (Rødt) believes that the salaries of Norwegian politicians have become too high. The party expects that a new committee will support a sharp pay cut.
On Wednesday, the Remuneration Committee, chaired by Ådne Cappelen, will submit its recommendations on politicians’ salaries to the Norwegian Parliament’s presidency (Storting).
“We expect the committee to support cuts in the excessively large politicians’ salaries,” the Red Party’s leader Bjørnar Moxnes told news bureau NTB.
Every year, the Red Party submits a proposal to the Storting to cut parliamentary representatives’ salaries.
Last year, the party proposed cutting wages by 20% in solidarity with the many who have become unemployed and laid off during the corona pandemic.
The parliamentary majority voted down the proposal but instead agreed to appoint a committee to study the principles for remuneration of politicians at all government levels – both in the municipalities, counties, in the Storting, and the government.
NOK 988,000 a year
A parliamentary representative currently earns NOK 988,000. The average salary among the population in Norway is NOK 567,480.
Figures from the Technical Calculation Committee (TBU) show that while politicians in the Storting have had a real wage increase of 15% in the last ten years, the average wage grew by 11% in the same period.
In kroner and øre, Storting politicians have had an annual wage supplement of twice the average, the figures show.
“Top politicians now have a wage level and a wage development that follows the 10% in the country with the highest wage. It has gone too far,” Moxnes noted.
He fears it weakens confidence in politicians and points out that the Storting should reflect and represent the population as much as possible.
The Red Party has proposed cutting the Storting’s salary down to 8G, which corresponds to just over NOK 800,000.
“No” to politician millionaires
Moxnes warns against Norwegian politicians becoming millionaires as in some other countries.
“But we are on that path if the Storting does not take action, and especially now during the corona crisis, there is all the more reason why we have to choose moderation,” he said.
He pointed out that New Zealand’s government cut wages by 20% for six months last spring to contribute during the crisis.
“We have made infection control decisions that have thrown people into unemployment and redundancies and taken a third of their income from them,” he added.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today