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Norwegian election: What foreign residents should know about the Centre Party’s election promises

Norwegian election: What foreign residents should know about the Centre Party's election promises
Centre Party leader Trygve Slagsvold Vedum. Photo by Ragne B. Lysaker, Senterpartiet/Flickr
The Centre Party are widely tipped to be a member of Norway's next coalition government after voters hit the polls in September. So what will their election pledges mean for you? Here's what you need to know. 

Come September, the Centre Party will likely be in a coalition government with Labour and at least one other party if the polls are to be believed.

In addition to this, their leader Trygve Slagsvold Vedum still has a slight outside chance of being Norway’s next prime minister. 

The Centre Party has, amongst other things promised, income tax cuts, less labour immigration if it poses a threat to Norwegian jobs and more help for first-time buyers. 

If you want to read more about the Centre Party’s election promises you can do so here. Additionally, you can catch up on our election coverage here and see how the Centre Party’s pledges differ from the Labour and the Conservatives

Without further ado, here’s how their policies will affect you.

Labour immigration and the EEA

The Centre Party has said that it wants to work towards more regulated labour immigration in order to protect Norwegian jobs. 

This will unlikely affect anyone already earning a living in Norway but may make it much harder for those looking to move to the country.

This will affect those inside and outside the European Economic Area or EEA (EU countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway). The party has said it will also pull Norway from the Schengen Agreement and renegotiate its terms with the EEA.

However, the party has yet to elaborate how immigration would be handled if Norway were to withdraw from the EEA or Schengen. 

Due to coalitions being the norm in Norway, the Centre Party would need support from other parties in government to make this happen. 

Tax cuts for most workers

The party has pledged to ensure that workers on low and middle incomes can keep more of their earnings by lowering income tax. The flip side to this is that the party has said that those on higher wages will be taxed more. 

Lowering the tax level in Norway has been mooted as one way of achieving this, as the party says the current flat tax rate hits low-income families the hardest. 

As well as cutting income tax, the Centre Party has said it will give tax deductions to people who fund grassroots organisations. 

In our latest weekly job roundup we wrote about the other parties in Norway proposing tax cuts, why don’t you take a look here.

Crisis package for tourism

A crisis package to protect jobs and businesses in the tourism industry in Norway has also been mooted. The party would cut VAT for the tourism sector and extend current pandemic schemes for workers and companies affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Vedum’s party has also said it would increase the number of jobs within tourism across Norway. 

Self-employed, freelancers and entrepreneurs

Self-employed foreign residents could benefit from a number of proposed pledges that the party has made. 

Firstly, the party wants to cut down on the bureaucracy involved in setting up a small business and make it easier for sole proprietorships to pay taxes. The party hasn’t outlined how they would achieve this, but this will still be a relief to anybody who has dealt with Norwegian bureaucracy before. 

READ MORE: What you need to know about setting up as a freelancer in Norway

Not only that, but the Centre Party have also said they want to guarantee an income to self-employed people when they take parental leave. 

First-time buyers

First-time buyers will benefit from the party’s promise to increase the number of start-up loans, which are loans and grants from municipalities aimed at helping those having problems getting on the property ladder to secure a mortgage. 

It will increase the limit that people can deposit in a Housing Savings for Young People (BSU) account aimed at helping people under 34 save for a deposit. 

The party is also in favour of more rent-to-own models and will simplify regulations for building homes. 

More straightforward building regulations aim to hope that supply will meet demand and slow down rising house prices. 

Jobs

Like Labour, SP wants fewer temporary and part-time jobs and for more people to be employed in full-time work. 

This will allow foreign residents working multiple part-time gigs more security if there is a shift towards more full-time jobs. 

The party will also work towards higher wages in sectors and industries that women predominantly occupy. 

Having the opportunities and infrastructure available so that people can work wherever in Norway they wish is something that the Centre Party have said they would work towards. 

Climate

The party has pledged to help Norway reach its climate goals for 2030 and 2050. In addition to this, the party wants to make it easier for everyone to own an electric car, not just those in cities. 

To fulfil this promise, the party will install 10,000 fast chargers for electric cars around Norway. 

The party has also said it will make the transport sector much more climate-friendly by making busses carbon neutral by 2030, electrifying train networks and phase in the use of low emissions aircraft in Norway.


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