Norwegians’ most-hated taxes

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Heavy taxes tied to their homes and their cars have emerged as the most hated by a majority of Norwegians, according to a new study by a national taxpayers’ organization (Norsk Skattebetalerforening). So intense is the criticism that even some of the country’s most socialist-oriented politicians are considering reform.

The sale of homes like these on the island of Nesøya, west of Oslo, can hit the buyer with hundreds of thousands of kroner in special tax. PHOTO: Views and News

Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) led its morning newscasts Thursday with the results of a new survey conducted by research firm Synovate for the taxpayers’ group. It found that Norway’s sky-high taxes on new cars and fuel, and one imposed on the purchase of a new home, are the most unpopular.

Fully 70 percent of those questioned believe the tax on new cars (which can amount to more than 100 percent of the actual price of the car) is too high, as is the tax on fuel. Even though Norway is an oil-producing nation and has benefited greatly from high oil prices, Norwegians now pay as much as NOK 15 per liter for gasoline (petrol) at the pump, which amounts to around USD 11 a gallon.

The dissatisfaction with fuel and car taxes has risen in the past year, along with the cost of filling the tank. The taxes are fueled by politicians who want more Norwegians to use public transportation, but many remain dependent on their cars in rural areas and their costs have skyrocketed.

The most-hated tax, though, is what’s rather innocuously called the “dokumentavgift,” a documentation fee that the buyer of a new home must pay when he or she reports the purchase to state authorities. It comes in addition to relatively nominal fees for obtaining title to the property.

The dokumentavgift amounts to nearly 3 percent of the purchase price of the home, however, meaning it can cost the homebuyer tens if not hundreds of thousands of kroner. Its legal description as a “fee” is scoffed at by most Norwegians, who often call it a “moving tax” for which they receive very little in return.

The car and “moving” taxes generate billions every year for the state treasury, which help pay for Norwegians’ medical care, schooling also at the university level, and a host of other state welfare services. But now even Heikki Holmås of the Socialist Left party (SV) says he “understands that folks are reacting.” He’s willing to propose an eventual phase-out at least of the “moving tax,” because “folks view it as unreasonable.”

Reform via replacement
His party remains committed to maintaining high taxes on cars, still widely viewed as a luxury item in Norway, and Holmås quickly noted that any phase-out of the “moving tax” would require replacing it with other taxes. He said he’s tempted to further boost already-high taxes on tobacco and alcohol.

Even though tobacco tax means a pack of cigarettes now costs around USD 16 in Norway, only 40 percent of Norwegians questioned think that’s too high. A majority also seems resigned to high taxes on beer, wine and liquor, even though many continue to drive over the border to do their shopping in Sweden where prices are lower.

Many Norwegians also still claim that “they pay their taxes with joy,” because of the high level of welfare services they receive in return. “It’s important to listen to folks,” Holmås said in deference to the survey results. “We depend on widespread acceptance of our taxes. Then it’s important to see which ones are most unpopular, and which ones folks understand that they pay.”

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund
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  • Neil

    What welfare services are they referring to? I must be losing around 50% of my income to tax and I receive nothing. I have to pay to see a doctor. I have to pay 3-5 times as much for basic medicine (e.g. Paracetamol) from a pharmacy. Where’s the benefit in paying all this money?

  • Richard Enn Johnson

    Well said Neil.

    If you count all direct and indirect taxes, most people are paying between 50 and 70% of their income to the government, which then redistributes the wealth to favor certain groups of people. The people who breed and the people who get themselves heavily into debt get the most tax breaks. Siv Jensen is right, with 5 million people we have a government as large as countries with 15 million people.

    I pay 45% in income taxes with some small deductions, and that doesn’t include other taxes I have to pay such as VAT (25%) and “sin taxes” (300%). My net income is lower than what it would be in other (cheaper) countries because of this heavy tax burden.

    What do I get in return for paying all this tax money? Absolutely nothing. Last time I got sick I made the mistake of going to Storgate legevakt, once there I seriously thought I was in Iraq or something, what a filthy disaster area that place is, and there is a 3-4 hour wait for treatment. I would rather keep my darn tax money and spend it on a private doctor. Individual responsibility and limited government is what this country needs, government services are ALWAYS inefficient, you always get less bang for your buck, that is a fact that too many people are unaware of. It should be up to the individual if they want to contribute to a charity to help the less fortunate, and if so, they can do it much more efficiently than the government can.

    The public healthcare in this country is terrible, the police are useless, the roads are crap, every single public service is a joke except possibly the prison system, which is worse than a joke, it is an insult.
    This is a bit off-topic but it annoys the heck out of me: They just built a prison for 300 million Euros, with our tax money, to house 200 or so inmates! That includes a 1 million Euro art gallery! That’s 1.5 million Euros per inmate. How many of you can afford to rent a 1.5 million Euro apartment?? How many of us have an art gallery in our buildings? Seems like crime actually does pay.

    Siv Jensen interview:

    Norway needs a Ron Paul, but Siv Jensen seems to be the closest we have. Hopefully one day Norway will become a free country where the government doesn’t forcefully steal our income and redistribute it (inefficiently).

    • Aquacalc

      “Norway needs a Ron Paul…”

      You can have ours — and well through in his son, (Ayn) Rand Paul, to sweeten the deal.

    • Tom Just Olsen

      Norwegians pay 42% of GNP in taxes (according to OECD) – about the same as the rest of Europe. In the US you pay a meek 24% of GDP. Norwegians, generally, has a far better purchasing power – after taxes – than Americans – or most other nations. For tax the difference you get ‘free health care’, ‘education for your children through university’, ‘real law & order’, a ‘social safety net if you get sick or unemployed’ – and a ‘governmentally guaranteed pension’ that Americans can just dream of.
      Norway is a paradise. But it costs to be a member.
      Further; Norway has a small bureaucracy. All too small. And far smaller than Sweden with 9 million people (except for defence). So Siv Jensen – is out in the woods. Her party, Frp and Høyre, runs the local government of Oslo, and is responsible for the mess you describe at Oslo Legevakt. Høyre and Frp – wants a privatised health care system – like you have in the US. God forbid!
      The City of Oslo, so proud of it’s small bureaucracy, spend a hefty 4000 kroners – per inhabitants – on consultants instead. – A consultant costs four times as much as a bureaucrat. Go figure!
      The real heavy post on our governmental budgets is ‘health care’. It’s about 8 – 9% of GDP – but covers everybody in Norway. In the US it’s 19% of GDP and covers ‘about’ 2/3 of the population.
      For the 42% of GDP of taxes we pay for services that the Americans have to buy ‘on a market’.
      A family member works for Halliburton with many employees from the US. Typical he say is that the young men move back to the states while those with families and – children with chronic diseases stay here in Norway….

  • Penny

    Norway is benefit to those with children and sick. I have paid high in tax and thank God that I am healthy. Even if I fall in serious sickness one day, I have even prepared to go back to my home country for quick treatment as I have my own insurance coverage in private hospitals.

  • Matthew

    Interesting. In Norway on the weekend and my girlfriend’s brother seemed to think Norway’s health system was great because his daughter got very sick earlier in the year. I do find it odd though that you still have to pay to see the doctor in Norway while you don’t in the UK (where I live). In Australia we have to pay a little to see the Doctor which I don’t mind. I also think some form of Private Health coverage is better than none. If people are willing to pay they should be able to in order to get a higher level of care.

  • Lim

    I’ve lived in Australia and I’m living in Norway right now. I have to say it is ridiculous how high taxes are here and how opaque government is here. Not to mention the ridiculous amount of bureaucracy and no one wants to take responsibility anywhere. For the amount of taxes that I pay I get nothing in return. I don’t use any of the social services and I’m hardly sick ever. Wealth wise I would be better off living in Australia.

    • Rebekah

      What with Julia Gillard running the country, not me and I am an Australian.

  • Neal

    It’s what I have been saying since I get here, the govt taxes the crap out of everything and the average Norwegian gets very little in return, this is a great country if you have no aspriations, however if you want to achieve and be a standout individual you’re much better off anywhere else. Norway may well be a wealthy country but you can’t see it.

    The car tax really annoys me, I live semi-rural in an area with very little in the way of public transport, a car is not a luxury item, it’s an essential item, to make matters worse we have to have two of them. With the high tax on cars and fuel I would have expected decent roads, however Norway has the worst roads in Europe and due to the high cost of buying a car one of the oldest carparks in Europe.

  • Cameron Palmer

    A car isn’t a luxury, it is a liability. I personally thank the Norwegian government for not burdening us with a plague of private automobiles on the scale of other western countries. Cars change a city permanently, preventing the uptake and success of public transit, ruining air quality, ruining walkability and attractiveness through a proliferation of parking lots, and burning through scarce resources that should be used carefully.

    So in enlightened Norway taxes aren’t about revenue, they are about encouraging people to do the right thing without explicitly saying no.

    A former US Citizen gladly paying his taxes for real government.

    • Neil

      But these measures don’t work. The air quality in Oslo is not good, especially during winter. There are frequently traffic jams into and out of the city. There are plenty of parking garages although they’re mostly underground.

      Perhaps some people think downtown Oslo is how the rest of Norway works. It isn’t.

      • Rob

        That’s not all down to cars, in winter people burn wood and other stuff which produces a lot of the poor quality air you you. People also drive more in winter due to the massive problems with Oslo’s rail network.

    • Darla

      @Cameron. Well said! I am an American living in the suburbs and despise the dependency we’ve created on cars. Not only do they ruin much as you pointed out, but they also contribute to making America FAT!

      • Ernie

        “I am an American living in the suburbs and despise the dependency we’ve created on cars.”

        That’s priceless. You despise car dependency, yet you fail to do anything about it.

        Personally, I put my money where my mouth is and bought a house 3 blocks from work (and fortuitously, also the rapid transit line). Even with two little kids, this worked out well enough that we lived there for 6 years. Only after my father-in-law’s (years of) insistence that we move in together to help raise the kids did we change that. I’m still unsure this was a fair bargain however, and I suspect we’ll move back at the first chance we get, because a short, easy commute is priceless.

    • Jon

      I don’t see an issue with the car tax. I come from NYC and I prefer to live in the city. If you have an issue don’t move to the suburbs. I enjoy walking and sometimes taking the bus, it’s so much better. What I have noticed is for a western city, Oslo people like to drive expensive cars. Not even in NYC do you see the high end cars.

      I do mind the high taxes on alcohol. According to polls people are ok with that, but how can that be true when they all want you to buy alcohol at the airport or when you go to Sweden?

      • Rob

        You don’t see high end cars in Norway, you hardly ever see Porsche, Ferrari, Aston Martins, Bentleys, Rolls Royces, Lambos, in little old NZ seeing cars like this was a daily occurance, seeing them in Norway is an event.

        • Jon

          You should move to Oslo. Frogner and Majorstua is the place to be these people do not care to pay more taxes they flaunt the wealth. You see plenty of Range Rovers, Porsche and even Aston Martin and they eat out a lot. Paying taxes is part of the dues to live in a safe country.

  • Neal

    That’s all well and good saying what you are saying if you live in Oslo, Trondheim, Bergan or Stavanger but if you live anywhere else in Norway (like 3 million other Norwegians) public transport is almost non existant, they should punish people in big cities for driving cars, but why punish me, I don’t have a bus that can get me to work on time or get me home in time to collect my children from kindergarden, the other option is of course for me to move my family to a bigger city, which is something the govt doesn’t want.

    Stated govt policy in Norway is to keep the outer regions viable and not allow population drift to the main cities, you can’t live outside a major city in Norway and not have a car. The govt can’t have it’s cake and eat it too.

    As for taxes I’d like to have a system where public services are backed up by private services if the person wants to opt out from the public system. Health care in Norway is terrible, I would pay for private medical insurance if I could get a tax credit for it, education is also going down hill, I’d like to send my children to private school, again I’d like a tax credit to do this, there are loads of examples of where the Norwegian public system isn’t doing a good job or is value for money, all it really does is employ a hell of a lot of AP supporters.

  • Matthew

    How easy is it to go and buy a car in Germany and drive it back to Norway? Anyone? Heard that’s what a lot of people do?

    • Neil

      I believe that you’d be taxed on it as if it were new when you registered it. If you lived abroad and owned a vehicle for at least six months prior, you’d be able to bring that vehicle tax free.

      • dsha

        No that’s not true. Bringing a foreign car is only possible if you intend to stay in Norway for no longer than 2 years, and have some proof of it (e.g. a temporary work contract). Rules are somewhat complicated, but the previous sentence summarizes them I believe. In case you have a permanent position at a Norwegian company, you can’t bring a foreign registered car no matter how long you owned it.

  • Rebekah

    As a foreigner living in Norway. I cannot fault the health system. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, the doctors where I live went out of their way to ensure that I clearly understood what was happening to me and what they would do about it especially on the day of my surgery. In addition after each chemotherapy session they rang me personally to see if I was okay. I was also offered free counselling and support if I needed it. Where as my dad who also had cancer over 20 years was not treated in such a manner, he was not even offered counselling.

    Yes so we may pay more tax but remember we do not pay any tax in June and only half in December.

    • Neil

      My partners sister suffered head pains for four years and each time she visited the doctor, she was told it was something minor. It was only once she went to a private clinic that they told her she was riddled with cancer (brain, lungs and other organs).

      She died the following Christmas leaving two young sons.

      I dread falling ill in this country.

  • Matthew

    Health stories like that happen in Australia too unfortunately.

    Cheers for the Car info!

    My question is why don’t they allowtax breaks for the purchase of newer more enviro friendly cars?

    • dsha

      The huge tax one has to pay when purchasing a new car in Norway depends on multiple parameters, such as (I might be wrong here) CO2 emissions per km driven, engine volume et al. So cars with lower CO2 are taxed lower. That’s a “tax break”…in Norwegian manner…he-heh

  • Matthew

    Neal with an a. Good points! Seems the AP government doesn’t think too much about people in outer areas. Guess that will change with families moving out of Inner Oslo and the fast forming ghettos!

    • Anders

      Lots of complaining here. Consider yourself lucky to live in one of the few countries in the world with a surplus and not major debt. Consider yourself lucky to never have to worry whether or not you can afford to take yourself or your children to the doctor because you do not have health insurance. If you have children, you’ll never have to worry about whether or not you can afford college tuition. Daycare? That’s taken care of. Four to five weeks of paid vacation per year sounds quite nice as well. Then there’s the generous maternity (for both parents). What if you’re laid off? Retraining and unemployment benefits (I believe it is something over 65-75% of your salary) are provided for.

      Bad roads? Well, the U.S. (the self-proclaimed “wealthiest nation in the world”) has a crumbling infrastructure; roads in disrepair and bridges being used beyond their lifetime with either minimal or no maintenance/repairs at all. (They don’t pay a lot in taxes)

      One good thing you can point out about these taxes is that it does not allow people to get themselves into enormous debt by purchasing homes, cars, or other items they cannot afford. Prices may be high in Norway, but people are still buying, are they not?

      Misdiagnosis is not limited to Norway. In the U.S., I went for treatment at a local medical facility, which is ranked #2 in the nation, and was misdiagnosed/undiagnosed for 4-5 months. Thankfully, this was not a life-threatening issue. It happens everywhere.

      Every country has its own share of problems or issues. Is the system in Norway perfect? No. But you have it a hell of a lot better than people in a lot of other countries, and the last thing the country needs is a Ron Paul. Richard, you sound like you’d be right at home in Texas. If you don’t like paying taxes and government interference, move to Somalia. If you’d prefer somewhere a bit more civilized, you could try Greece. I hear they don’t (like to) pay taxes either, and look how well that turned out.

      Obviously many of you are foreigners, whom I am guessing are married or living with Norwegians. For those that are not though, why do you continue to stay in Norway if things are better in your home country? You lot sound an awful lot like the immigrants of the Muslim variety that I so often read about, who want to transform Norway to resemble more of the country which they’ve so eagerly left.

      • Neil

        Personally I don’t have a problem with paying high tax – so long as there is a benefit in doing so. As yet there have been none for me.

      • anum

        No one here is trying to transform YOUR country if they are living according to their own traditions, the way they like as far as personal living is concerned thats their right, so stop making assumptions about others.
        Secondly don’t worry mate I am just an ex-pat not an immigrant and don’t have any intention to be one ….

      • Rob

        Daycare is not taken care of, I have two children in barnehange, it costs 4530 NOK per month. When number one starts school this year I have to pay for after school care, school finishes at 13.00, my wife and I don’t finish work until 16.00, SFO costs 1900 NOK per month, if kids actually went to school for a full day I wouldn’t need to pay for SFO. Next year I will have two in barnehange and one in SFO, that’s over 6000 NOK per month and you’re telling me childcare is taken care of, think again buddy!

        The bad roads in the US are mainly due to Ronald Regan diverting the road maintenance funding into winning the cold war, unfortunately he didn’t put the money back after he won it. In Norway the govt collect tens of billions in fuel tax yet spends less than 10 billion on road maintenance, if we want a new road or a better road it’s generally tolled, how unfair is that.

        Look at the disruption caused by decades of little to no maintenance on Oslo’s rail network, now it’s going to have massive disruptive closures every summer for the next 3-4 years. If the authorities had put money into an ongoing preventative maintenance program this wouldn’t have happened.

        As for massive debt, Norwegian banks were booking 100% loans up to 18 months ago, interest rates are rising, lots of people bought property they couldn’t really afford, the Norwegian property bubble hasn’t burst, but with a few more rises in interest rates as forecast by the Central Bank you will begin to see foreclosures in big numbers. I’m sure there are a lot of worried people out there.

        Hows this for nuts, the maternity ward in my local hospital closes every summer for a month, so we had to travel to the next closest hospital, nearly 100kms and a very expensive toll bridge away, plus I had to pay for a night in a hotel, then a couple of trips with my kids to see there mum, and a trip to collect mother and baby, all up not being able to have my child in my local hospital has cost me close to 5000NOK, so much for free maternity care.

        But I still live here, I like living here, my kids do as well, I won’t be leaving just yet.

  • Matthew

    Great post Anders. Good to hear some pros rather than just cons about the taxes particularly about how it does stop people getting into to debt. I don’t live in Norway yet but planning to soon with my Norwegian girlfriend and definitely think the pros outweigh the cons in Norway! But as the article points out there are some taxes that seem unnecessary to Norwegians and maybe these need changing, not the whole system.

    • Neil

      I strongly disagree. The government should not be responsible for controlling the spending of an individual’s private income after tax.

      • dsha

        Right. And it doesn’t – it’s just a matter of how much tax you end up paying before you’re allowed to decide how to spend the remaining income 🙂

    • Rob

      No Matthew, after living here for at least 12 months you’ll work out that the system in Norway is there to benefit those that don’t want to work, at the expense of those that do. If you are a smart bloke earning a good income in the UK I suggest you convince your girlfriend to live with you rather than move to Norway.

  • A joke

    Taxes. Most of the richest people in Norway pay tax in the uk using tax loopholes.

    The joke is that Norwegian taxes mostly pay for people who can’t take the stress of their jobs.  They take sick pay for years, then get another  job and go sick again. 

    The health service is only good if you find an overseas doctor. Its not a free service, but you have to pay until you reach a ceiling. I currently know four people suing the health service for destroying their lives.

    I love Norway, and can understand Anders’ viewpoint, ‘If you don’t like it leave.’ Lots of Norwegians do, they move to Spain and tell the locals that they have to learn Norwegian! 

    Then there’s the brainwashed chaps dragged to Norway on easyjet by their girlfriends and they mostly last six months. (say in the UK IRS better) 

    The place is fantastic, just don’t expect it to be like London or Paris. These are simple folk, farmers who found black gold. 

    • Anders

      I’m going to guess that most of the complaints about the healthcare system in these comments are from people who are living in or around Oslo? Also, as I said, surely there are problems and Norway’s system is not perfect, but do the U.S. healthcare system and the NHS not have their own problems as well?

      I didn’t say, “if you don’t like it, leave,” and I understand everyone has a right to complain and express their criticisms. I was just asking why a foreigner, if they had no connection to Norway (such as a spouse – because I can understand how that may complicate things), would choose to stay in the country if they see so many faults with it and think the country from which the immigrated is better.

      I’m also not saying Norway is the best country in the world, but it is doing quite well right now when many other countries are not. The country is economically/financially very stable and running on a surplus and not a debt, the banks are doing well, there is low unemployment, the currency is very strong and stable, the sovereign wealth fund is now the largest in the world, the country is running a trade surplus and it is still discovering oil and gas finds.

  • Former inhabitant of Norway

    @Richard Enn Johnson – Nice rant.

    I generally agree with your point of view. Norway is an agonisingly frustrating place to live. High taxes, little benefit in return (I have no kids, no mortgage, don’t plan to take “stress related sick leave”), ridiculous food prices, can’t go shopping on a Sunday, can’t buy beer in the evening, have to buy wine from a government run outlet as if you’re some kind of junkie, cars prohibitively expensive yet public transport is astonishingly unreliable, etc, etc, etc….

    So you know what I did? After years of complaining like hell about all of the above to any poor soul that would listen, I went home! Now I don’t have any of these problems and I don’t have to vent my fury on web forums any more!! yippee!! I simply weighed up the pros and cons of Norway and decided that it wasn’t the place for me. If these issues really anger you as much as it sounds like they do, I suggest you leave – it worked wonders for me.

    • Rob

      I wish I could do the same, but I’m trapped with a mortgage, 3 kids and have to suffer. And before any states medical expenses for children are free, having my third child cost me thousands of NOK, our local hospital closes down for a couple of weeks over summer, so you have to go to the next hospital in a town 100km away, this costs a lot of money, there are two tolls to be paid, had to pay to stay in a hotel while my wife was in hospital, and to cap it all off I got a parking ticket at 18.59 in the evening, free parking started at 19.00. You would think the health service would pay costs for parents who have to travel away from home in these circumstances, but they don’t.

      Norway is a fantastic country to live in if you have no ambition, are a blue collar worker and like being sick, for people with ambition and a strong work ethic Norway is not the country for you, you’ll be constantly frustrated by the locals, the govt will drive you potty and you’ll want to get the hell out as soon as you can. If you do actually complain to any Norwegian about the country they won’t understand, they believe the country is perfect and how could any possibly believe there were any problems, Norwegians have completely bought into the govts propaganda.

    • Hristo Bundevski

      THEN COME to Malta. You as a foreigner will be discriminated. Different laws apply

  • A joke

    Remember Norway doesn’t care about the environment. (biggest carbon foot print per person of any country in Europe)
    One of the largest producers of weapons in the world.
    Destroying countries eco systems because of greedy fish producers.
    Drilling in restricted ocean nature reserves to keep the oil fund going.
    This wealth is not build on anything sustainable, it’s all take, take, take! If the country is going to last into the next century something needs to change.

    • dsha

      No doubt, in order to maintain/improve the image of Norway as of an environment-friendly country, the government will now try to reduce the carbon footprint by further increasing gasoline and car taxes, even though the major part of it likely comes from the industry. Thus the private consumer will as usually pay for everything.

    • Rob

      Norway isn’t even a top 10 producer of weapons, Sweden is much larger in 8th position.

      I do agree with everything else you mentioned, a very large and very public example of the Norwegian govts lack of environmential cred is not undergrounding the Hardanger power lines, with all the money this country apparently has this should have been a non issue.

  • Bjørn14

    I like Norway a lot. My only complaint is lack of choice in the grocery stores. I went to a tiny little country store in Sweden and found more choice there than at 25K kvm ICA Maxi a block from house.

    Taxes in Norway have long been used for social control. Norway doesn’t ban anything (or relatively little) outright, the government just taxes it heavily.

    When former finance minister Kristin Halvorsen announced new petrol taxes a few years ago. She dihd it because “Norwegians can afford it” Thankfully she no longer has control of the purse strings.

    • jon

      ban what? Income?

  • misslulie

    I would just like to add here, as a UK citizen married to a Norwegian, no, Norway isn’t perfect. HOWEVER, I am unemployed right now (I don’t speak fluent Norwegian therefore it’s difficult to find work) and my husband has a normal full time job. Despite this we live very comfortable on one income, (I am getting no benefits) and have even bought a house. There is not many countries where that would be possible, definitely not in the UK.

    I haven’t had much experience with the health system but ended up at the emergency clinic on one occasion, and there was an ambulance woman attending to patients, and I had a ailment she knew nothing about, she had to look through a medical book(!) but it was sorted quite quickly. I have an excellent doctor also, so the healthcare system isn’t all bad.

    Despite sometimes feeling like Norway isn’t completely “me”, I do think it is a very safe place to live and to bring up children. I live in Kristiansand on the south coast, and I feel safe to walk around my neighbourhood at any time of day or night. Wouldn’t do that in the UK…

  • jon

    i m norwegian, but left in 1990 when I was 19 years old. I occationally goes back as my father still lives there, but I totally feel that most of my fellow citizens are suffering some kind of light North Korea syndrome. Having lived abroad, in US, UK and now Dubai, I can with confidence say I could never move back to Norway. I really dont get why if people dont like taxes, why we keep electing left wing parties. Its like the only choice is between high tax and very high tax parties…

  • Brian Desmond

    There have been some very interesting posting here; and alot of frustration

  • Brian Desmond

    My previous posting was a mistake; apologies:-)
    There appears to be alot of frustration in here and for some of the postings with good reason. I can only suggest that those who have chosen to live here make a list of all the pros and cons and see what you come up with. My list of pros will always be longer than the cons as my main interests are utilizing the fantastic nature that Norway has to offer. (through its laws on Freedom of movement etc) Those that have have been here a short time will find it immeasurably easier to accept some of Norway’s hopeless laws and restrictions that will be less painless by learning the language. Integrate fully, learn and experience the culture and even join a sportsclub or political party if you want to contribute to change. I did, and sit on my local borough council and a have reserve seat on the most influential commitee. For those who do not wish to experience for example 24 tollbooths between K.sand and Oslo, (Hundreds springing up all over the country) a decaying road/rail system, 850,000 state workers in a country of 5 million, uncontrolled immigration which is non sustainable, pensions that are continually devalued, and a government (The Labour party) that wishes the state to be even more powerful than it already is, (To the detriment of individual Freedom and Freedom of speech) then join in and make a change. I did and therefore have the right to do something about it. The Norwegian people deserve better; and they will after September 2013.

  • Andy AUS

    Nothing brings foreigners together than discussing the taxes and Norwegian regulations! 🙂
    I work offshore and Norwegian workers are predominately right wing offshore so there are some interesting discussions. Every little bit of extra work I do is heavily taxed along with night shift so there is no encouragement to work hard. Our company bonus pretty much goes straight to government welfare.

    I think if you are not born here we will never understand the socialist we all suffer together mentality. For me the positive thing is that they have created a very safe country to live in.

    I agree with everything Richard has said, Norwegians also share his opinion. Specialy those that have lived abroad.

    It is often the case here that this country makes no sense. Specially the Breivik court case! I feel that Norwgians need to start thinking what they want as individuals and not be too concerned about the labor party propaganda, ignorance we do everything the right way bollocks. Jens new years speech only spoke about how he helped other countries.

    Also I have worked in the Norwegian government and all we did was eat cake all day.

  • GBCD

    I’m bored with import taxes on food due to protectionism. It would make it a lot easier to get by without such high grocery bills. The produce and healthful food shouldn’t be taxed, e.g., tomato, salmon, milk. Mainly all foods that make a Norwegian dietary basket. Food is an item everyone needs and not everyone can jaunt across the border for a carton of milk.