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Everything we know so far about Norway’s revised state budget

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
Everything we know so far about Norway’s revised state budget
The Local has rounded up all the key proposals expected to feature in Norway's national budget. Pictured is Norway's parliament. Photo by Leonid Andronov Getty Images

The Local has rounded up all the important proposals already revealed to be in Norway's revised budget for 2024, from more money for health and defence to a reversed cut to private schools.

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Money to reduce hospital waiting times 

Some 2 billion kroner will be spent on trying to reduce waiting times in hospitals, health minister Jan Christian Vestre revealed at a press conference on Monday. 

The money will be spent on long- and short-term measures to combat waiting times in the health sector. 

“The welfare state must be our very best health insurance, and then regardless of whether it is in a city or a village, north or south or east or west, people must be confident that our health services are good,” Vestre said. 

Norway to increase defence spending 

The Norwegian Armed Forces will receive around 7 billion kroner more in defence spending as part of the revised national budget.

Over the past few months, the government has said that defence would be an increased priority. The spending will help Norway achieve the “NATO two percent target”. 

The two percent refers to member countries allocating at least two percent of their GDP to defence spending. 

Of the extra money, 2 billion would be spent on increasing immediate operational capability, while 5 billion would be spent on a long-term defence plan. 

Support for Ukraine will be increased

An additional 7 billion kroner will be given to Ukraine. Of this, 6 billion kroner will be increased military support while 1 billion kroner will be distributed as civilian aid through the Nansen programme.

Norway eyes fourfold increase in aid to Gaza

The Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) reports that the government has proposed significantly increasing its humanitarian aid to Gaza, raising the allocation from 250 million to 1 billion kroner.

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Development minister Anne Beathe Tvinnereim stated that this increase is intended to provide life-saving emergency aid, including food, water, fuel, and medicines.

Private and international school cuts to be reversed

Norway's government has reversed the proposed cuts to around 150 private schools offering both primary and secondary school education.

Private schools previously told The Local that the initial cuts threatened their existence. 

Since then, the government has said a new model would be adopted. Private and international schools in Norway will now receive 484 million kroner compared to the 515 million kroner the government planned to save by cutting subsidies. 

The reversal has been met with a mixed reception by some schools. 

READ ALSO: Norway’s government reverses cuts to private and international schools

More money for local authorities

A couple of measures have been announced to try to funnel money into the country’s municipalities. 

Firstly, the government wants to move tax money from rich local authorities to poorer ones. 

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Furthermore, local authorities that refuse to merge with their neighbours will also benefit from increased funding. This hasn't been the case in recent years, and authorities that refused mergers have claimed they have missed out financially as a result.

However, while 215 areas will benefit from the proposed change, 141 municipalities may end up worse off.

Police to receive money to fight gang crime

Police across the country will benefit from increased funding to combat gang crime, while customs officials will be allocated more money to stop the smuggling of drugs into Norway. 

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