What changes about life in Norway in December 2023

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
What changes about life in Norway in December 2023
There are a number of key government proposals that you need to know about in Norway. Pictured are Christmas decorations in a store in Haugesund, Norway. Photo by audun munthe on Unsplash

Norway's parliament to vote on several key proposals, an interest rate peak, and the days slowly getting lighter, are among the headline changes in December.


Parliament to vote on the budget for 2024 

Budget negotiations between the government and the party it relies on for budgetary support, the Socialist Left Party, began earlier in November. 

The parties will have until November 28th to reach an agreement, although these talks regularly head into overtime. Once a deal is agreed, there will be a budget debate in parliament on December 4th before MPs vote on ratifying the budget. 

We have an overview of all the policies in the new budget which can affect you

Parliament to vote on conversion therapy 

Norway's parliament will vote on banning conversion therapy. Conversion therapy is the controversial practice of trying to change somebody's sexual orientation or gender identity. 

The proposal was first floated in 2021. Those caught engaging in conversion therapy face prison sentences of between three and six years. 

The policy is, in all likelihood, set to pass into law as the Liberal Party, Conservative Party, Centre Party, and Labour Party have reached a majority in favour of ending conversion therapy. 

The vote takes place on December 7th. 

Tax lists are published 

One of the year's biggest news events will happen on December 6th as the Norwegian Tax Administration publishes its tax lists. 

The country publicly publishes its residents' tax returns, and the information is available online on a database


The event generates headlines as details about the earnings of public figures such as celebrities and politicians becomes public information. 

Decision on airline takeover to be made

Norwegian Air's takeover of its rival Widerøe will either be approved or rejected by the Norwegian Competition Authority. 

The takeover was being looked at due to concerns over whether the competition in the Norwegian airline market would remain healthy following the takeover. 

The authority is concerned that the routes on offer could worsen and ticket prices could be hiked if the takeover goes through. 


Norwegian argues that its takeover would result in a better experience for travellers. The deadline for the ruling is December 8th.

Speeding tickets could become more expensive 

A consultation will be held in parliament over increased speeding fines. The government wants to raise the fine for going 5 km/h over the speed limit to 1,150 kroner when the speed limit is 60 km. 

Those caught going more than 25 km/h too fast will be fined 12,700 kroner. The fines were last increased in March 2023. The consultation is on December 14th. 

Interest rate decision 

Norway's Central Bank will likely raise the key policy rate by 0.25 percent to 4.5 percent. The decision over whether the rate will be raised will be made on December 14th. 

Providing developments with the economy and inflation remain on track, the latest rate peak would signal the peak. 


It is expected that the key policy rate will begin to fall towards the end of 2024 and the beginning of 2025. 

When do I get time off work or school for Christmas? 

December 25th (Christmas), December 26th (Boxing Day), and January 1st (New Year's Day) are all public holidays in Norway. This year, they all fall on weekdays, meaning people get their full quota of official days off (unlike last year when two of the festive three fell on a weekend). 

December 24th (Christmas Eve) and December 31st (New Year's Eve) are not public holidays, but many employers treat them as such. Unfortunately, Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday this year, so it will not be an extra day off for most people.

State schools generally finish for the Christmas holidays on Thursday, December 21st, and will return to school on January Wednesday 3rd. 

Days to begin getting lighter 

The shortest day of the year will occur in December, for plenty of people living in Norway this means no day at all for weeks due the polar night. 

But for the majority, this will be followed by the days getting longer and lighter. The winter solstice, when the Earth tilts the furthest away from the Sun on its axis, occurs on December 22nd.

This will come as a relief to anyone struggling with the current short days and long nights. 


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