Norwegian government and Socialist Left Party agree on 2022 budget

Jonas Gahr Støre speaking to the press following a political debate in August.
The government and the Socialist Left Party have agreed on a deal. Pictured is Prime Minister of Norway, Jonas Gahr Støre. Photo by Arbeiderpartiet on Flickr.
After two weeks of talks, the government and the Socialist Left Party, on Monday, reached an agreement on Norway's fiscal plan for next year.

“This is a budget that shows that it is the urn of ordinary people,” Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said during a press conference.

After failing to make much progress in the early rounds of talks, the level of discussion was raised to the party leaders last week in an attempt to find a consensus.

The sticking points for the parties had been taxes, climate change, and holiday pay for workers laid-off due to the pandemic as well as record-high electricity prices.

Støre said that those laid-off because of the Covid epidemic in Norway this year would receive holiday pay during 2022, as was the case this year.

“We have now secured a scheme where what applied to those who were unemployed in 2020 applies to those who were laid off in 2021,” the PM explained.

The PM also described the budget as the greenest for many years.

The country would will not grant new oil exploration licences in virgin or little-explored areas in 2022.

“You want to see a policy that focuses on industry, climate cuts and green policy, with proper measures,” he said.

The oil industry will also see a sharp increase in CO2 tax as part of the renegotiated budget.

In addition, children in first grade will receive a free half-day place at a before or after school program next year. Dental work for young people would also become cheaper, and more financial support for orthodontics would be available.

The need to agree on a budget became more urgent for the government as Thursday was essentially the deadline for getting support for the fiscal plan due to the vote on next year’s financial package taking place that day.

Due to the government being a minority, it was thus dependent on the Socialist Left Party’s support, who had previously pulled out of talks to be part of the coalition due to significant differences, to get the majority it needed for the budget to pass through parliament.


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