Budget 2011: The Opposition’s hopes and fears / News / The Foreigner

Budget 2011: The Opposition’s hopes and fears. The Government will be presenting next year’s Budget on Tuesday, and enthusiasm in the four main Opposition Parties is low. Members of the Centre-Right tell The Foreigner it is about tax, bureaucrats, and healthcare for them. Jan Tore Sanner, Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party (H), believes Finance Minister Sigbjørn Johnsen has probably succeeded in reducing the growth in government spending, and is likely to save more oil-related income. “[He] will proudly present a budget with reduced use of oil money. It will however not be a result of reduced government spending but mainly a result of fewer asylum seekers, reduced sick pay, increased dividends from state-owned companies and reversing of tax credits granted under the finance crisis.”

conservative, liberal, progress, christian, democratic, party, budget, norway, 2011, government, geir, olsen, jan, tore, sanner, ulf, leirstein, sigbjoern, johnsen, hans, olav, syversen



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Budget 2011: The Opposition’s hopes and fears

Published on Friday, 1st October, 2010 at 15:24 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 6th October 2010 at 16:37.

The Government will be presenting next year’s Budget on Tuesday, and enthusiasm in the four main Opposition Parties is low. Members of the Centre-Right tell The Foreigner it is about tax, bureaucrats, and healthcare for them.

Norwegian currency
Norwegian currency
Photo: chezzzers/IStockphotos


Sensible investment hopes

Jan Tore Sanner, Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party (H), believes Finance Minister Sigbjørn Johnsen has probably succeeded in reducing the growth in government spending, and is likely to save more oil-related income.

“[He] will proudly present a budget with reduced use of oil money. It will however not be a result of reduced government spending but mainly a result of fewer asylum seekers, reduced sick pay, increased dividends from state-owned companies and reversing of tax credits granted under the finance crisis.”

“[However,] I wish the finance minister would use the coming years of budget surplus to modernize the public sector, cut administrative costs, and turn the expenditure towards investments in knowledge, research, infrastructure and tax reliefs for increased future growth. The question is not only how much money we spend, but also how it is spent.”

A mystery

The Far Right Progress Party’s (FrP) representative on the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs, Ulf Leirstein, is not optimistic about next week’s Budget.

“We fear that the government is preparing a tight budget, which won’t provide the necessary means to address the current underfunding of for example health care and communications,” he says.

Leirstein vows his Party will keep fighting for a fair taxation policy, and making the state more efficient by reducing bureaucracy.

“The current state of affairs is unacceptable for The Progress Party. It is paradoxical that while having a steadily increasing fortune, Norway still has one of the highest levels of taxation in the world. The fact that Norway nevertheless is falling behind on the aforementioned key areas of daily life is beyond us.”

Unspectacular

KrF’s (Christian Democratic) Hans Olav Syversen MP, Leirstein’s counterpart, is not expecting any major surprises.

“I believe it will be quite a conservative budget with no harsh cuts at all due to the slower pace in the European and overseas markets, and assume the government will not have to be too restrictive because of lack of demand from these,” he says.

Syversen thinks the government will be adhering to the four-percent rule because of the situation abroad and its effects upon the Norwegian economy.

He criticises the Coalition’s ‘jack of all trades’ approach.

“KrF’s concern with the latest 2010 budget is that the government tries to give something to everyone instead of prioritising what we believe to be certain areas such as child welfare and quality reform of care for the elderly.”

The Christian Democrats would like to abolish active wealth tax on business assets, and believe owners should only be taxed if they withdraw capital.

“I also hope the government is concerned that we have an imbalance between people working in the private and public sectors. I think, for example, it should be looking at the wealth tax for small businesses as well as IHT."

Clean and green

Geir Olsen, the Liberals’ (V) political advisor for finance, business, labour, and welfare, says his Party has three major hopes for the budget.

“We would like to see an end to expansionary monetary and fiscal policies, with a budget close to the [Oil Fund’s] four-percent Fiscal Policy Guideline.”

The rule regulates how much of return from the Government Pension Fund – Global (Oil Fund) can be used.

“We also suggest a green tax-switch, with less on labour and business, and more on pollution, for example," says Olsen.

The Liberals believe the government should adopt a clear profile towards the future, spending less money on yesterday’s industry and government administration, and more on education, research, science, and knowledge.

“Small and medium-sized enterprises and issues regarding the environment and climate [should also receive increased funding].”




Published on Friday, 1st October, 2010 at 15:24 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 6th October 2010 at 16:37.

This post has the following tags: conservative, liberal, progress, christian, democratic, party, budget, norway, 2011, government, geir, olsen, jan, tore, sanner, ulf, leirstein, sigbjoern, johnsen, hans, olav, syversen.





  
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