Ferry fares are being cut, taxes on soft drinks have been lowered and interest rates on student loans are rising. Those are just some of the changes ushered in since Parliament closed for the summer recess.
New laws and tax rates often take effect from either January 1st or July 1st in Norway. Among the changes this year is a 25 percent cut in ferry fares that controversially shot up last year. A hotly contended tax on soft drinks, known as the “sugar tax,” is also being phased out. That will lower the price of a liter of non-alcoholic beverages by NOK 2.09.
Young Norwegians who’ve saved money for housing purchases in special tax-free accounts known as BSU can now also use the money for remodeling or maintenance projects. The interest rates on their student loans from Statens Lånekassen, however, will rise to 1.795 percent on loans with three-year terms, 2.149 percent for five-year terms and 2.609 percent for 10-year terms.
From July 1st, all developers of residential buildings with garages must provide systems for charging batteries on electric cars. New parking rules and speed limits will also apply to electric scooters.
A ban on disposable plastic items like utensils, plates, straws and cups also takes effect on July 1. Tolls on various roads will also be eliminated, including on the E6/E18 highways in Østfold and Viken.