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WHAT CHANGES IN NORWAY

Everything that changes about Norway in August 2022

From cuts to one of Norway's most popular travel routes to new paternity allowance rules and more financial support for parents and households, here's what changes in August. 

Pictured is a view is Trolltunga.
Here's what changes about life in Norway in August. Pictured is Trolltunga. Photo by Kseniya Petukhova on Unsplash

The number of trains between Oslo and Bergen could be cut

The number of daily train departures between Norway’s two biggest cities, Oslo and Bergen, will be cut towards the end of the summer, Vy has said.

It plans to cut the number of daily trains between Norway’s two biggest cities from six to four. Vy is cutting the number of daily trains as it believes its passenger base will shrink following the summer. The government-owned company added that the pandemic had changed travel habits, with the number of those who use trains yet to stabilise. 

However, the cuts are yet to be finalised as Vy needs to negotiate the number of daily departures it will offer with the Norwegian Railway Directorate. This will happen in August and September.

The Bergen Line (Bergensbannen) is featured on our list of five fantastic train journeys to take in Norway this year. 

READ MORE: Five stunning train trips to take in Norway this summer 

Interest rates to go up

Norway’s key interest rates will go up from 1.25 percent to 1.5 percent by Norway’s central bank, Norges Bank. 

The anticipated rate hike follows Norges Bank’s double interest rate rise in June. 

By next summer, Norges Bank expects the key policy rate to be raised to around 3 percent. 

A key interest rate of 1.5 percent means yearly repayments of 12,500 kroner per million of debt.

However, banks typically lend at above the key interest rate, meaning payments will be higher than the anticipated 1.5 percent.  

Electricity support to increase

From August, the government will pick up 90 percent of consumers’ energy bills which cost over 70 øre/kWh in a month. This will appear on the bill for August automatically, which will arrive in September. 

The government currently covers 80 percent of the bill above 70 øre/kWh in a month, having raised the initial portion from 55 percent when the scheme was first introduced last year. 

Free SFO for first graders

All children in Norway are eligible for up to 12 hours of free after-school activities a week from August. 

Families on low incomes in 60 municipalities will be given free full-time spaces in after schools programs. Around 5,500 children will benefit from the policy. You can find a list of the municipalities offering free full-time SFO places here.

Fellesferie and Sommerferie end 

Norway’s collective holiday period, Fellesfeire, when most companies in Norway grant their entire workforce holiday and shut up shop, will end during August. 

Sommerferie, the kids’ school holiday ends on August 22nd, and the new term will begin. 

Absence limit to be reintroduced

After the summer holidays, the absence rules for students will be reintroduced for middle and high school pupils. 

If high school students in Norway miss more than 10 percent of lessons in a subject, then the student will fail the subject and not receive a grade. Students can have an authorised absence with valid documentation, such as a doctor’s note.

During the pandemic, the government introduced rules which meant there were exemptions from the documentation required for a health-related absence.

Dog leash ban ends

From August 20th, dog owners can walk their pets off the lead. Dogs will be allowed to be off the lead until April 1st 2023. 

Animals are kept leashed from April until August, and the rule is to protect local wildlife during the birthing, nesting and mating seasons. 

Some municipalities have rules about keeping dogs on a lead in housing areas, and others have regulations about animals being leashed while cross-country skiing in areas with prepped tracks. 

Glasses support for kids introduced

A new support scheme for kids needing glasses will be brought at the beginning of August. The new scheme gives children who were excluded from support during a rejig in 2020 ( those who needed glasses for the prevention or treatment of amblyopia) a right to financial support to purchase spectacles.

The scheme will apply to around 140,000 children and those already eligible for support. Financial support is only available for children under 18. 

Under the scheme, families could be reimbursed up to 75 percent of the cost of a pair of prescription lenses for a child. There will be five different rates, with the support depending on the glasses’ strength. 

Those who apply for the support will have the money then paid into their account to help pay for the costs before purchase or as a reimbursement after the spectacles have been bought. Parents will need to apply to NAV for support. 

Paternity rules change 

The fathers of children born after August 2nd will be independently entitled to eight weeks of parental allowance. This means that the father can use parental allowance for eight weeks without it coming out of the general allowance.  

Mothers can apply for parental leave in Norway during the 22nd week of pregnancy, and fathers/partners can apply just after the baby is born. 

Parental allowance is paid out by NAV. 

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For members

WHAT CHANGES IN NORWAY

What changes in Norway in September 2022?

The prospect of more support to deal with sky-high energy prices, interest rates going up, and a key change to electric scooters are among the changes in Norway you need to know in September. 

What changes in Norway in September 2022?

New energy support for businesses and consumers is expected in September

On September 19th, Norway’s parliament will meet to discuss sky-high energy prices. Parliament is being reconvened early for the talks. 

Head of the NHO, Ole Erik Almlid, said that the government had drawn up rough plans for several potential measures to tackle high prices and ease pressure on businesses and households. 

“What I can say is that there are several solutions on the table, and it is also possible to see combinations of the various solutions,” he told reporters after NHO met with LO and Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre earlier in August. 

The government have been under pressure to improve the current scheme offered to households in light of record prices. However, the PM and Finance Minister have ruled out the possibility of a maximum energy price. 

Currently, the government covers 80 percent of energy bills when the price is above 70 kWh. However, there isn’t a similar scheme for business. 

The portion of energy bills the government covers is to increase

From September, the government will cover up to 90 percent of energy bills when the price rises above 70 kWh. 

Norway’s government will increase the portion of the bill it covers ahead of the previous schedule. However, it isn’t clear how this increase could be affected by changes or any additional support the government could offer households when parliament urgently reconvenes in September. 

Interest rates to increase again

It’s more bad news for consumers’ wallets in Norway in September. Norway’s central bank, Norges Bank, has signalled that it will be hiking the key interest rate in September. 

Norges Bank’s next rate hike will come after a double rate increase in August and an earlier one in June. 

A key rate hike will inevitably lead to mortgage interest increases. 

If you were to have a mortgage or loan of 4 million kroner at an interest rate of 2.5 percent over 25 years and your bank has issued a notice that it will raise interest rates by 0.5 percentage points, then your monthly repayments will increase by 996 kroner. 

READ ALSO: What Norway’s latest double interest rate hike means for your finances

New driving licence design issued

Everyone who orders a new driving licence in Norway from September 1st will receive a new design, and laminated paper licences will be scrapped. 

The new design is said to provide increased security against forgery and is easier to check, the Norwegian Public Roads Administration has said. 

Laminated paper licences will need to be replaced by January 1st 2023.

Oslo-Aberdeen route launches

Airline Loganair will launch a flight which connects the Norwegian capital of Oslo with the Scottish city of Aberdeen in September. 

Scottish airline Loganair will begin flying passengers between Oslo and Aberdeen six times a week from September 5th.

Tickets for flights are already on sale, and the airline will typically fly direct from Oslo to Aberdeen every day apart from Saturday. 

Flights take around one hour and 40 minutes, and prices begin from 1,055 kroner for a single, which includes 15kg of luggage and refreshments as standard. Fares also included the airline’s GreenSkies levy, which fully offsets the carbon emissions from every flight through an accredited environmental programme.

It may become more expensive to rent electric scooters

From September 1st, rental companies will need compulsory statutory liability coverage on their e-scooter networks.

The requirement is being brought in as part of a set of legislation aimed at regulating the use of e-scooters in Norway more thoroughly.

Norwegian newspaper VG reports that this new insurance requirement will likely make renting e-scooters more expensive.

Rental operators have said that the lack of competition in the market means that securing a competitive insurance policy would be incredibly difficult.

Ryde, a rental firm operating in Norway, told VG that it had yet to seal a deal, but when it does, the cost of renting an e-scooter would likely increase.

Tier told VG that prices would increase over the next 12 months once it signed the dotted line on an insurance agreement.

READ MORE: Why the price of e-scooter rentals in Norway will increase

Oslo Pride to go ahead

The Pride parade in Oslo was previously put on hold indefinitely following shootings near a gay pub and other locations the day before when the original parade was meant to be held in June. 

However, Oslo’s pride celebration has now been given the green light to go ahead. As a result, on Saturday, September 10th, there will be a Pride parade through Norway’s capital city. 

Following the parade, a solidarity demonstration will be held at Kontraskjæret at Akershus fortress.

Wine monopoly to raise prices

The price of many goods at Norway’s wine monopoly will increase, Norwegian newswire NTB reports. 

Wholesalers who sell goods to the state-owned wine monopoly, which regulates the sale of any alcohol above 4.75 percent in Norway, will adjust their prices on September 1st. 

“It is the wholesalers who set the prices. Some prices go up, while others go down. There will be a new selling price for 7,924 out of a total of 29,018 products, so the majority of the products will keep the same price,” Hege-Lill Hagen Asp, senior adviser at the wine monopoly, told NTB. 

The cost of 350-millilitre bottles of Baileys and Aperol would rise. At the same time, some wines are seeing significant price increases. 

However, prices at the wine monopoly overall will increase by 0.75 percent since the last adjustment in May. The rise is well below inflation in Norway which is 6.8 percent. 

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