Lower taxes on soft drinks, lower ferry fares and more funding for psychiatric care were what it took for the conservative government coalition to win support from the Progress Party for its revised state budget. Progress, which withdrew from the coalition early last year, also managed to get the government to remove six toll plazas on state highways, before agreeing to give the government a majority in Parliament before the summer recess begins.
The deal with Progress also secured support for the government’s initially low offer of subsidies and protection for Norwegian farmers from foreign competition. The farmers were so offended with the offer that they refused to negotiate with the government, aiming instead to win support from other parties in Parliament.
That didn’t happen, meaning the farmers will now have to accept around NOK 960 million in state support. After weeks of protests and complaints about the recent acceptance of a new trade deal between Norway and the UK, the farmers have to resign themselves to their allotment, while gearing up for a new struggle for funding next spring.