Government to study poverty guidelines

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Norway’s outgoing and incoming governments both agree that it’s time to reevaluate the definition of poverty in Norway, and what’s required to qualify for welfare assistance, because the standard income guidelines defined by the EU and the OECD may not apply. 

Outgoing Labour Minister Anniken Huitfeldt told newspaper Aftenposten over the weekend that a family with four children with one parent working and one parent at home may be considered below the poverty line even though the parent working has an otherwise relatively high income of as much as NOK 685,000 (USD 114,000). EU and OECD guidelines define a single person as below the poverty line if he or she earns less than NOK 191,200 or NOK 133,386 respectively. For a family of four, the income level is is set at NOK 360,142 by he OECD and NOK 401,708 by the EU, reported Aftenposten.

Now both Huitfeldt of the Labour Party and her possible successor from the Conservatives, Torbjørn Røe Isaksen, agree that a study is needed to set income guildelines that are realistic in Norway, known for its high cost of living. Huitfeldt, meanwhile, is urging more state financial assistance for children in families with a single parent in the outgoing government’s state budget proposal being presented on Monday, and she already has won support for the proposal from other parties in Parliament.

newsinenglish.no staff