Norway’s Socialist Left Party (SV) claims the rich keep getting richer in Norway, often because of inherited assets. That’s prompting SV to propose reinstatement of a “fair” inheritance tax aimed at better spreading the wealth around the social welfare state.
Many of those topping a new list of Norway’s wealthiest people have inherited their fortunes. “We need a fair inheritance tax to reduce the gap between those who have the least and the most,” SV leader Kirsti Bergstø told newspaper Dagsavisen. “Inheritance can keep large fortunes within few hands, so there’s something uncivilized over not having inheritance tax.”
Norway does impose an annual and controversial fortune tax on individual net worth, but has been one of the few countries in Europe without a tax on inheritance since the former Conservatives-led government scrapped it in 2014. Bergstø thinks it’s time to bring it back, albeit with a high standard deduction and a relatively low tax rate.
Neither of the minority government’s two parties, Labour and Center, support inheritance tax but rely on SV for majority support in Parliament. Bergstø notes that work has begun on their programs for next year, however, and “we will challenge them” with an inheritance tax proposal.