Key points: What changes about life in Norway in 2023

Robin-Ivan Capar
Robin-Ivan Capar - [email protected] • 26 Dec, 2022 Updated Mon 26 Dec 2022 11:49 CEST
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In this article, we will cover some of the major changes that are likely to take place in Norway in 2023. Photo by Yanina Engvik / Unsplash

We take a look at the upcoming changes that will affect work, education, travel and other elements of life in Norway in 2023.


As it slowly comes to an end, we can safely say that 2022 was a dramatic year full of surprises and unexpected, continent-level challenges.

From the war in Ukraine to the cost of living crisis and surging energy costs, this year will go down in history as a year characterised by hardship and difficulties - even in a country as well-off as Norway.

Unfortunately, most of these crises look likely to spill over into the next year.

In this article, we will cover some of the major changes that are likely to take place in Norway in 2023.


Unemployment to rise, plus a tighter job market

As is the case in most of Europe, Norway is facing economic uncertainty. Currently, the country's unemployment rate is at a record low.

However, experts and analysts believe that unemployment is set to rise in 2023, 2024, and 2025 as job growth in Norway flattens out.

According to a December report by Statistics Norway (SSB), unemployment will likely rise from 3.7 percent in 2023 to just over 4 percent in 2025.

A poll carried out by the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO) among member companies in December already shows that 28 percent of businesses expect to cut staff during the next six months.

Housing prices expected to fall

The property market in Norway is likely to cool off next year, and experts believe prices will decline for most of 2023.

Statistics Norway (SSB) forecasts that house prices will fall around 8 percent from the third quarter of 2022 to the same period next year.

The SSB's sentiment is shared by other industry and financial analysts – experts at Handelsbanken believe that house prices will fall by about 7 percent between August this year and the same month in 2023.


Upcoming changes: Income tax and tax on tourists

The Norwegian government plans to reduce income tax for people with income below 750,000 kroner.

According to a 2023 budget proposal example, a family with two incomes of 550,000 kroner in Norway is likely to pay about 7,800 kroner less tax in 2023, compared with 2021.

Norway's Finance Ministry has previously stated that the tax changes will mean that 76 percent of Norwegian workers will pay less or the same amount in tax as they currently pay.

Furthermore, the current government is considering introducing a tax on tourists and tourism-related activities.

While a concrete policy proposal has yet to be formulated, it is likely to take the form of tourists paying additional tax on tourism activities and hotels.


New measures aimed at supporting vulnerable groups

The Labour Party (AP) and Centre Party (SP) government has put a lot of focus on supporting vulnerable parts of society – especially in the light of skyrocketing prices.

The 2023 budget includes an annual income increase for single parents with low income, as well as increased child allowance (the measure is expected to be restructured in March of 2023).

Furthermore, a special package of measures is being deployed to support young unemployed people under the name of the "young persons' guarantee."

The measures will target unemployed people under 30 years of age, with the end goal of helping this group enter the job market as swiftly as possible.

Students are also expected to get increased grants in the 2023-2024 school year, while cancellations of student loans from the Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund for people living and working in the Finnmark and Nord-Troms area are likely to be stepped up.

At the same time, the government plans to introduce tuition fees for international students from outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) from next year.

The exact fee structure has yet to be officially revealed, but estimates published by Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) state that a study place could cost international students around 130,000 kroner a year.


Changes to preschool prices

The maximum price for daycare in Norway will be reduced to 3,000 kroner per month in 2023.

Furthermore, daycare will be free for all children in Finnmark and Nord-Troms, and - in the rest of the county - for the third child in families that have three children in daycare at the same time.

Transport changes

If you use ferries in Norway, then 2023 is shaping up to be a great year for you.

The government plans to halve ferry rates in the year ahead for everyone, while people living on Norwegian islands that don't have road connections will get to travel by ferry for free.

At the same time, the fuel tax will be lowered, likely leading to cheaper diesel and petrol prices in Norway from January.

If you have been planning to purchase an electric vehicle in 2023, or if you're already an electric car owner, prepare for bad news.

The government wants to introduce VAT on expensive electric cars from January 1, as well as increase tolls for electric cars.


Managing ongoing crises and welfare measures

Norwegian households have been shielded from the electricity crisis in 2022 by state subsidies, and this protective measure will stay in place in 2023.

It is among the key elements of the state budget, and the government has set aside billions to ensure people in Norway don't see their personal finances crushed by ever-growing energy costs.

At the same time, the government wants to cut state expenditure by reducing the earnings period for unemployment benefits from three to one year.

When it comes to welfare measures, as previously announced, the government plans to implement continued specific upward adjustment of indicative rates for social assistance, an extended period of work assessment allowance (AAP) for recipients who need more time for assessment, and a holiday supplement for unemployment benefits.

In addition, the housing allowance and financial assistance for food banks are set to be increased.


Recruiting more GPs and social inclusion

The Norwegian government plans to address one of the key issues in the country's healthcare system – a lack of GPs – by implementing multiple measures to keep and recruit more of them.

An increase in funding for grants for social inclusion measures for children and young people is also planned for 2023.

You can find out more about Norway's 2023 budget and how it could affect you here.



Robin-Ivan Capar 2022/12/26 11:49

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