Labour Party leader Jonas Gahr Støre hasn’t been having a very good week. Not only is is party sagging in the polls, a local newspaper reported that when Støre renovated the pier at his summer house six years ago, some of the work was done without taxes being paid on it.
Newspaper Finansavisen reported that a permanent resident of the coastal area at Kilsund oversaw the project on Støre’s behalf. He got help from two others to carry out the job as an agreement among friends, without charging or paying Norway’s 25 percent VAT. Nor did those who accepted Støre’s money for the work claim it on their income taxes.
Støre told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) on Wednesday that he didn’t want to pass judgment on whether the work carried out by the others was done “over or under the table.” He claimed, however, that he paid the project’s coordinator, who also acts as the caretaker of Støre’s property, “in a proper manner” that involved an invoice through which Støre paid VAT.
“I maintain that I’m clear in this case,” Støre said, stressing that he had questioned his caretaker about formalities and was told everything was in order. He claimed it would be “absurd” if he’d been expected to be present when the work was carried out, see who did the work and demand to see all its paperwork.