Stoltenberg motors on with biodiesel tax / News / The Foreigner

Stoltenberg motors on with biodiesel tax. Parliament to vote on unpopular proposal tomorrow. Last Friday, Labour’s (Ap) party secretary Raymond Johansen showed his displeasure for how the Socialist Left (SV) and Centre Party (Sp) – the minority parties in the coallition have handled the biodiesel matter. Although the two parties originally agreed to introduce the tax, SV’s environmental minister, Erik Solheim, distanced himself from it, whilst Magnhild Meltveit Kleppa – Sp’s minister for transport and communications – said she didn’t know how to start addressing the matter during parliamentary question-time, and started laughing.

jens, stoltenberg, biodiesel, tax, conference, unpopular, labour, party, centre, socialistleft, ap, sv, sp



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Stoltenberg motors on with biodiesel tax

Published on Wednesday, 25th November, 2009 at 11:17 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 26th November 2009 at 12:45.

Parliament to vote on unpopular proposal tomorrow.

Jens Stoltenberg
Jens Stoltenberg
Photo: Arbeiderpartiet(Ap)/Flickr


Cracking the whip

Last Friday, Labour’s (Ap) party secretary Raymond Johansen showed his displeasure for how the Socialist Left (SV) and Centre Party (Sp) – the minority parties in the coallition have handled the biodiesel matter.

Although the two parties originally agreed to introduce the tax, SV’s environmental minister, Erik Solheim, distanced himself from it, whilst Magnhild Meltveit Kleppa – Sp’s minister for transport and communications – said she didn’t know how to start addressing the matter during parliamentary question-time, and started laughing.

Raymond Johansen
Raymond Johansen
Arbeiderpartiet
“There could be matters that have been passed by the government that Ap hasn’t agreed with. But we don’t go public and talk about it afterwards,” Johansen told Dagbladet.

He went on to say that he viewed this type of double communication as being extremely unfortunate, and remarked that it mustn’t happen again.

Johansen cannot be criticised for not towing the party line with his “holier than thou” comment. Helga Pedersen adopted a similar approach when she defended the party’s proposed introduction of the EU’s Data Retention Directive. According to the Norwegian Press, Ap has a reputation for arrogance.

Little support

The proposed tax on biodiesel is unpopular. According to a poll conducted on behalf of VG four out of five said they opposed it, both amongst Ap’s voters, and within the party itself.

When presented with the results, Stoltenberg answered by saying that he believes taxes will always be unpopular, no matter what they are, according to NRK.

However, his reply didn’t satisfy either Roar Flåthen – leader of the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) – or the leader of the largest Trade Union in the private sector – Fellesforbundet – Arve Bakken.

“The government shouldn’t have opted for introducing tax on biodiesel…Many feel they’ve been swindled,” Flåthen said, according to NTB.

Political whitewash?

Upsetting the applecart, Stoltenberg used the opportunity to ridicule recent protests to imposing tax on biodiesel, taking a swipe at his opponents during yesterday’s speech on the first day of the Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees' (NUMGE/Fagforbundet) annual conference.

"There's never been a tradition for tax exemption on everything we enjoy...I like milk, but I'm in favour of paying tax on it. I like apples, but there's tax on them too."

He then proceeded to continue his "(oil) smear campaign" by flirting with union pride, and using core values as leverage to justify why biodiesel should be taxed.

"You are all examples of those who have built, develop, and run the Norwegian welfare state."

A winner?

Stoltenberg proposes to double the compulsory sale of biodiesel, by mixing 5% into ordinary diesel instead of the current 2.5%.

This is good news for SV and Sp. Throwing them a lifeline in the form of a deal Stoltenberg is obliged to follow, will make it easier for these two minority parties to vote in favour of Ap’s proposal tomorrow when it comes up in Parliament.




Published on Wednesday, 25th November, 2009 at 11:17 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 26th November 2009 at 12:45.

This post has the following tags: jens, stoltenberg, biodiesel, tax, conference, unpopular, labour, party, centre, socialistleft, ap, sv, sp.





  
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