Ropstad takes a hard line on “detailed management” of families in Norway

Kjell Ingolf RopstadPhoto: Terje Pedersen / NTB
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Christian Democrat (KrF) party leader Kjell Ingolf Ropstad is tired of the Norwegian state forcing families into the same template. Now he wants a change in Norwegian politics.

“For far too long, politics has overridden the families’ wishes,” KrF leader Kjell Ingolf Ropstad said in his opening speech to KrF’s national assembly on Thursday.

“Everyone should do the same. Take the same length of leave. Send the kids to kindergarten when they are one year old. Get them into a school day that will last as long as an adult’s working day. The consideration for work-life trumps everything else,” he continued.

Ropstad is now highlighting elderly care and family policy as KrF’s main issues leading up to the election this autumn.

“There is a need for a shift in Norwegian politics, from the work-life to the family-life. From everyone running at the same pace to appreciating that the speed can vary in different parts of life,” he said.

The role of the family weakened

The father of two made it clear that he has had enough of the framework set by the state in family policy:

“The family’s role and ability to decide for themselves has been weakened. A modern family policy is not about regulating people’s parental leave in detail, or about increasing the number of hours in school.”

The national assembly will deal with a number of issues concerning parental leave. Among other things, KrF will scrap the threefold division of the leave and extend it to three weeks’ leave for the father after the birth. Child benefits will also be increased.

“We will continue to strengthen the financial arrangements for families. Therefore, we will continue the increase of child benefit. And therefore, we are crystal clear that we will preserve the cash support for those who want the extra months at home with their one-year-old,” Ropstad said.

The national assembly will also consider a proposal for sibling moderation in kindergarten and that the third child and up will be free.

Promises covid package

Ropstad is clear that he believes that KrF’s work in the government gives results every single day.

“But still, we are impatient. We want to move on because we have so much more we want to do,” he said.

Among other things, he promises a powerful package of measures to counteract the long-term consequences of the pandemic.

“There may be a need for intensified efforts over a long period of time, perhaps years, because the pandemic hits some people extra hard,” he said.

In his speech, he emphasized the need for strengthening mental health care and measures to prevent people from dropping out of the workforce.

“Let there be no doubt – KrF and the government will present a powerful package to counteract the long-term consequences of the pandemic,” Ropstad said.

Relatives’ support

The party also goes to the polls with plans for cash benefits for relatives who take care of a sick spouse, father, or mother.

“We propose a state, tax-free scheme where one receives about NOK 7,500 per month. In order to receive the support, the elderly must have a documented need for care. They must also live in connection with their relatives so that regular follow-up is possible,” Ropstad said in the speech.

“The relatives’ support will not replace the health services for the elderly who live at home, but be an addition to the basic health and care services that the elderly receive,” he said.

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

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