The Labour Party is already in the process of imposing new property tax on Oslo residents and now its national organization reportedly is considering a return of inheritance tax as well, if Labour wins state government power in 2017.
Inheritance tax was abolished by the current Conservatives-led coalition shortly after it won the last election in 2013. The tax was seen as having too many “unfortunate” consequences for too many middle-class Norwegians, and was repealed by a majority in Parliament.
Now Labour’s deputy leader Hadia Tajik has told newspaper Klassekampen that her party may present a new model for inheritance tax during the next parliamentary period that begins in 2017. “I think it’s natural to talk about a new model,” Tajik said, agreeing that the former inheritance tax “only hit those with the biggest fortunes to a small degree, and provided only modest tax revenue to the state treasury.”
The proposal for a new tax model immediately drew sharp reaction from both the Conservative and Progress parties, which currently share government power. “Labour must present any model and how it would work well before the election in (September) 2017,” Roy Steffensen of the Progress Party declared, “so that voters will know what they’ll get if (Labour Party leader Jonas Gahr) Støre becomes prime minister.”
Truls Wickholm, tax policy spokesman for Labour, defended the proposal. “It’s important for the welfare state that the country’s wealthiest contribute more,” Wickholm said. “It’s not Labour’s desire to increase taxes for ordinary folks.” He added that fortune, property and inheritance is taxed in Norway at a much lower rate, if at all, than it is in other OECD countries.