Fight goes on over defense compromise

A day after Parliament finally agreed on a new defense program for Norway, two MPs from the otherwise allied Labour and Center parties kept fighting live on national radio Wednesday. Another fight looms over funding, since the defense compromise was struck before politicians have figured out how to fund it. On Tuesday the Labour, Christian […]

Budget agreement saves government

UPDATED: Norway’s conservative minority government coalition won support for its state budget proposal from the two other non-socialist parties in Parliament late Wednesday. The coalition’s Conservative and Progress parties had to make some concessions to win support from the Liberals and Christian Democrats, but they all claimed they were pleased with the results. The budget […]

Little property tax relief in state budget

Even though Norway’s conservative government coalition opposes property tax, it didn’t do anything to prevent local governments from imposing it in the state budget. There is a proposal, however, to keep it from rising too quickly. Residents of Oslo, for example, are getting hit with much higher property tax bills than expected because of higher […]

Critics blast lack of Oil Fund ‘buffers’

Norway’s huge sovereign wealth fund known as the “Oil Fund” is far too vulnerable to swings in the financial markets, argue critics. They claim a lack of buffers to reduce the impact of swings that can cut into market value is a glaring omission on the part of the state government responsible for the fund. […]

Conservatives still lead polls

As the Conservative and Progress parties defend their state budget proposal for next year, they can gain encouragement from the latest public opinion polls that show them with majority support from voters. The Conservatives gained again in the poll conducted by research firm Opinion for newspaper group ANB. It showed the Conservatives (Høyre) with 26.7 […]

Triumphant Siv strides ahead

NEWS ANALYSIS: Warnings of an “autumn storm” breaking out in the Norwegian Parliament this week were premature. After a roughly 18-hour workday that began before dawn on Norway’s annual “Budget Day,” Finance Minister Siv Jensen could relish a surprisingly good reception to the state budget proposal for 2018 that she’d presented and defended until late […]

Jensen presents a ‘budget for growth’

Transport, defense, health and education emerged as the winners in what commentators described as the government’s “neutral” state budget for 2018. Finance Minister Siv Jensen, confident after helping to steer Norway through its biggest economic crisis in years, described it as a “secure and future-oriented” budget that will prod more economic growth. “The government has […]

New ‘Tesla tax’ gears up the opposition

After promising that electric cars would retain all their tax advantages in the new state budget, the Norwegian government has charged up opposition over a reported proposal to impose a new one-time tax that seems tailor-made for those buying popular, high-end Teslas. One of the government’s own former support parties, which it still needs to […]

Minister resists oiling the budget

Finance Minister Siv Jensen has long been a proponent of investing more of Norway’s oil wealth at home, and dipping into it in times of trouble. Now, after branding the Norwegian economy as healthy once again, even she’s warning that the government won’t literally be oiling their proposed state budget by nearly as much next […]

Parliament leaders ‘broke own rules’

Olemic Thommessen, president of the Norwegian Parliament and therefore second only to the monarch as head of state, has come under another torrent of criticism over the Parliament’s troubled and expensive expansion project. He’s fending the criticism off once again, and ignoring any calls for his resignation. The project involves construction of a new entrance tunnel to the […]