Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday
Find out what’s going on in Norway on Wednesday with The Local’s short roundup of important news.
Party leaders go head-to-head in debate
The leaders of Norway’s nine political parties clashed in a heated debate on the topics of climate, tax and health on TV2 last night.
Labour leader Jonas Gahr Støre was in particularly feisty form, taking aim at the Conservative’s drug reform and lack of mental health provisions available for addicts and Christian Democratic Party leader Kjell Ingolf Ropstad for the party’s stance on the environment.
He wasn’t the only one to land a considerable blow on the other party leaders. Erna Solberg hit out at Støre and claimed his drug reform policies would punish those struggling with addiction instead of offering them access to treatment.
Political commentators were left impressed with Støre and Green leader Une Aina Bastholm performances.
For more coverage of the Norwegian election, including our jargon-busting guide to the vocab you need to know for this years election, click here.
New Covid infection records
On Tuesday, another new coronavirus infection record was recorded for the whole of Norway. In total, 1,785 new cases of infection were registered in Norway. This is a rise of 548 compared to the seven-day average of Covid infections of 1,237.
Oslo also recorded its highest ever coronavirus figures on Tuesday. In the Norwegian capital, 677 new Covid-18 infections were recorded, a rise of 336 more than the seven-day rolling average.
Half of all teachers not fully vaccinated
Around half of all teachers in Norway had yet to receive their final Covid vaccine dose when the new school year began and the government should have prioritised them in the queue earlier, the head of Norway’s teacher union has said.
“They are rightly concerned. Unfortunately, only half were fully vaccinated following the summer holidays, and now infections are rising sharply,” Mette Nord, head of trade union organisation LO’s largest public-sector union, told VG.
A survey the union carried out amongst teachers found that nine out of ten believed they should have been prioritised in the queue earlier, and the majority are afraid of catching Covid-19 at work.
Nord said she believed that the government should introduce more infection control measures in schools.
Government proposes new tax for oil and gas industry
The Norwegian government is proposing less favourable taxes on the oil and gas industry by introducing a cash flow tax.
“The restructuring will make the tax system for the oil and gas business better adapted to developments on the Norwegian continental shelf in the years ahead. The changes will mean that tax conditions will be tighter and have a more neutral effect on investments,” Minister of Finance Jan Tore Sanner said in a statement.
The government added that the new system would lead to increased tax revenues for the government.