Fuel prices hit record high

A combination of higher oil prices and a slight increase in fuel taxes that took effect January 1 left Norwegians facing record-high fuel prices at the pump on Monday. Norway already has among the highest petrol prices in the world, and now they’ve jumped again. The market leader in pump prices (Circle K, formerly Statoil) was […]

Norwegians back alcohol restrictions

An overwhelming majority of Norwegians still support the country’s strict alcohol regulations and Vinmonopolet, Norway’s state-controlled liquor retailer. Now there may also be a majority in Parliament in favour of turning tax-free sales at Norwegian airports over to Vinmonopolet. Newspaper Dagbladet reported during the weekend that several parties including the Christian Democrats, SV and the Center Party want […]

‘Envy fuels higher taxes on Teslas’

Abid Raja, a Member of Parliament for the Liberal Party, was quick to blast a proposal by the Labour Party to eliminate some of the tax incentives that currently apply to the popular and luxurious electric Tesla cars. He drives a Tesla himself, and ties the higher tax proposal to sheer envy. “As long as folks […]

Customs officials cleared to release Melgaard’s art

Finance Minister Siv Jensen stepped in for a second time on Tuesday to settle a conflict over what constitutes art, and whether Norway’s VAT should be slapped on a series of paintings created by Norwegian contemporary artist Bjarne Melgaard. Jensen determined that the tax should not apply, and that Melgaard’s art should be released by customs immediately. “Melgaard […]

Ministry to liberate Melgaard’s art

UPDATED: Norway’s finance minister was promising late Friday to free 16 paintings by one of the country’s most prominent artists from the clutches of customs officers at Norway’s gateway airport (OSL Gardermoen).  They held up the arrival of the paintings by contemporary artist Bjarne Melgaard, claiming they didn’t qualify as artwork and that Melgaard would have to pay NOK 1.3 […]

Tax lists still set off media frenzy

Norway’s national tax director Hans Christian Holte had to speed up this year’s unique public release of taxpayers’ bottom lines, after newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) got hold of many in advance and started publishing stories Thursday night. The annual release of all Norwegian residents’ taxable incomes, net worth and what they actually paid in tax still […]

Finance minister saves tax-free sales

Norway’s conservative government has resisted calls from the left-center opposition in Parliament to re-evaluate or even end the current tax-free sales of alcoholic beverages, tobacco, cosmetics and other items at Norwegian airports and on board international ferries. Finance Minister Siv Jensen of the Progress Party made it clear when presenting her new state budget proposal for […]

Budget blasted as not ‘green enough’

Norway’s conservative minority government was immediately attacked after rolling out its new state budget for 2017. Government ministers were once again accused of “greenwashing” the budget, and the leader of one of their support parties in Parliament said she couldn’t back it without major changes. Liberal Party leader Trine Skei Grande had already demanded “the greenest budget […]

Oil fuels a New Deal for Norway

Norway’s Finance Minister Siv Jensen unveiled what she called a “responsible” state budget for 2017 on Thursday “that will steer us through a demanding time.” It calls for pulling more money than ever before out of the country’s huge Oil Fund, to pump up spending on measures aimed mostly at preserving and creating new jobs. “We are fortunate, […]

Highlights of the proposed state budget

Norway’s state budget is considered the country’s most important document in terms of steering Norwegian politics and the country’s economy. Its formal presentation by the government in power, just after the ceremonial opening of Parliament, stirs enormous interest and media hype every year, and means a lot for everyone living and working in Norway. This year’s […]