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The Budget. Good for the environment, worse for your pocket. If you drive an old car that emits high amounts of CO2, or own a second property, then perhaps this is the time to think about selling. Here is a summary of how the centre-left’s 2010 budget will affect you.Climate and the environment Buying a new car in Norway is expensive. Not only is there VAT at 25%, but a staggeringly high one-off environmental tax to pay. However this year’s budget is good news for buyers of new, environmentally-friendly cars. It has reduced the amount they have to pay for cars that emit lower levels of CO2. But buyers beware. Taxes will be higher on cars that emit more.

norwegian, government, finance, minister, kristin, halvorsen, budget, 2010, climate, environment, taxes, schools, police, councils



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The Budget

Published on Tuesday, 13th October, 2009 at 16:21 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 13th October 2009 at 20:38.

Good for the environment, worse for your pocket.

Leather travel case
Leather travel case
Photo: zibber/Shutterstock Images


If you drive an old car that emits high amounts of CO2, or own a second property, then perhaps this is the time to think about selling. Here is a summary of how the centre-left’s 2010 budget will affect you.

Climate and the environment

Buying a new car in Norway is expensive. Not only is there VAT at 25%, but a staggeringly high one-off environmental tax to pay. However this year’s budget is good news for buyers of new, environmentally-friendly cars. It has reduced the amount they have to pay for cars that emit lower levels of CO2. But buyers beware. Taxes will be higher on cars that emit more.

The bad news for motorists is that the annual road-tax is to be raised all round. Motorists of petrol-driven and diesel cars with a particle-filter are going to have to pay 1.8 percent more, whilst those without a filter will face a 1.9 percent increase.

There will also be a new CO2 fee introduced for buildings that use natural gas from 2010.

But climate researchers and those who adopt climate-friendly measures stand to gain. The government has suggested increasing sums by 1.7 billion and 45 million kroner respectively.

Tax

The present basic income tax rate was left unchanged at 28 percent, with the standard allowance raised to 72,800 kroner.

Both thresholds for having to pay the top rate of tax and wealth tax have been raised to 456,400 and 700,000 respectively. This is positive for some, for others it has a catch.

The government plans to reform the levels of wealth tax on properties. House-owners can eventually expect to pay up 25 percent of its tax-assessed value, with no more than 30 percent of its market value if it is their primary residence.

But those with a second home are to be penalised, with owners having to pay 40 percent of its market value; a considerable increase from today’s level. Should this affect you, there’s no use smoking out your frustrations as tobacco tax is also set to rise.

Other winners

Up to 720 new places are to be allocated to the police training college in Oslo to help bring down crime, with an increased number of follow-up teams for young offenders.

Schools and councils are also to receive a boost. From the autumn of 2010, two free hours of SFO (after-school activities) are on the cards, with an extra 8 billion kroner set aside for councils; two things that the Finance Minister Kristin Halvorsen says are important to the government. Single-parent support is to be kept at present levels, with a further 1,500 fathers qualifying to receive it.

An increase 812 million extra kroner compared to the last budget is to be spent on arts and culture, meaning a growth in funding for libraries, language teaching, literature, and the Norwegian Opera and Ballet.

“Extraordinary”

However Halvorsen says that the financial crisis is by far from over here, despite the strong Norwegian economy.

“We have spent large amounts on reorganisation. The measures that we adopted at the beginning of the year were extraordinary. We have passed the tests of the financial crisis so far, but there are still big challenges that lie ahead,” she tells VG.

This year’s budget has used 44.6 billion kroner more of the Oil Fund than is recommended.

Halvorsen goes on to say that this is because this year’s budget has taken employment issues into consideration.

“We are doing what we can both to stop unemployment rising unduly and taking hold.”

Criticism

The Opposition was negative, with the Liberal Party’s (H) deputy leader Jan Tore Sanner accusing the government’s budget of showing that they were “about to run out of ideas.”

He says that he would have prioritised differently when it came to schools, the Health Service, and industry and commerce, claiming that this year’s budget lacks the power of reform that could have reduced hospital waiting times, and improved the quality in schools.

The Progress Party’s (FrP) financial political spokesman, Ulf Leirsten, doesn’t see many positive things about it either.

“The government is using more oil money than we have ever done, without there being any new measures to combat the financial crisis. We have reason to fear what is going to come next year, when the government has warned that there will be tightening of the purse-strings.”

Leirsten underlines that a large number of Norwegian businesses are still struggling with the after-effects of the international financial crisis, and would like to have seen the government give them more of a helping hand.



Published on Tuesday, 13th October, 2009 at 16:21 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 13th October 2009 at 20:38.

This post has the following tags: norwegian, government, finance, minister, kristin, halvorsen, budget, 2010, climate, environment, taxes, schools, police, councils.





  
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