Frp’s road tolls play meets resistance: “A provocation”
The Progress Party (Frp) asks for a crisis summit in the government on road tolls and tightens the municipalities’ opportunity to change the fees. Both announcements are criticized internally as well as by the opposition.
This is a follow up of the article Jensen asks for a crisis summit on road tolls, in which Norwegian Minister of Transport, Jon Georg Dale, announces a tightening of the rules for financing urban development through road tolls.
“This is more of a provocation than of help,” Deputy County Councillor of Bergen, Pål Kårbø (KrF), tells Bergens Tidende.
Karbø asks the government to contribute funds instead of just telling the municipalities what they cannot do.
“None of us locally want the highest possible road tolls, but we wish to solve our projects as well. The entity which has the most money is the Norwegian state. It would have been more constructive if they contribute a few hundred million more,” Kårbø continues.
Lack of control
Neither is the Leader of Labour, Jonas Gahr Støre, impressed by the Minister of Transport’s road tolls decision.
“Dale shies from responsibility by forcing the bill on the municipalities. It must then either be reduction in other important services – such as kindergartens and care for the elderly – or cutting out parts of the development of transport,” Støre informs NTB.
Støre believes that the Norwegian state should foot a larger part of the bill for transport projects around the four major cities instead. He adds that the current road tolls system should be replaced by road pricing.
“I hear government parties that advocate both, but yet this has been dismissed when we have proposed it in Parliament,” the Labour Leader mocks. Støre is also not overly impressed by Siv Jensen’s call for a crisis summit.
“When those who have been in charge of both the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Finance – for more than six years – call for a crisis meeting, it is a demonstration of their lack of management and control over a sector that is important to all Norwegians,” Støre continues.
Play for the gallery
Norwegian Minister of Transport, Jon Georg Dale, dismisses the criticism.
“Whenever the Labour Party is challenged on something that can actually help reduce road tolls, they stick their heads in the sand. They pretend to be against road tolls, but actively contribute to preventing any suggestions that can reduce them,” Dale tells NTB.
“This is nothing but a play for the gallery,” the Minister of Transport concludes.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today