At 11 am, the revised national budget will be presented by Minister of Finance Jan Tore Sanner (H), but as early as Tuesday morning, the key figures became known.
They showed, among other things, that the government does one sharp uptick in oil money spending in 2021, and now estimates that they will spend 402.6 billion oil kroner during the year.
This is a jump of almost NOK 90 billion from the original budget proposal that was presented last autumn.
Many react to the fact that oil use is enormous, and the opposition believes that the government still does not meet those who need it most.
– Bloody unfair
– The government’s budget proposal is bloody unfair, says Marie Sneve Martinussen, deputy head of Rødt.
– The government proposes to stop the crisis schemes for those on unemployment benefits, work clearance benefits, freelancers and apprentices on 30 September. At the same time, the compensation scheme for the business community will be extended until 1 November, without requirements for a dividend moratorium or Norwegian pay and working conditions.
She believes this is a declaration of war against workers affected by the crisis.
– We will not give up until the government has lost the battle to send the bill for the crisis to workers, once again. Rødt is in favor of increasing the unemployment benefit level and holiday pay for those who have been unemployed into permanent schemes. Now we must fight unemployment, not the unemployed, says Martinussen.
SV’s fiscal policy spokesperson, Kari Elisabeth Kaski, believes the oil directors are trumping the unemployed in the government’s crisis policy.
– It does not get a penny better from what is presented today. The government is still completely blind to the crisis of difference created by the pandemic, as they have been since day 1. We will have a huge clean-up job in the autumn after the election, she states.
– Fails sick, children and young people
Kaski also believes that Norway is wasting an opportunity to create the green jobs we must have.
– The government’s biggest crisis commitment is still the totally unnecessary oil tax package. They provide gray change, not green, and we have an oil industry on government steroids. Norway has been the worst in the class on green crisis policy, she says.
FRP responds that the government has said that no one should be left alone with the consequences of the pandemic. This is what many people think with this proposal.
– Here, many will be left alone with the consequences of the pandemic if there are such crumbs that will correct the challenges both in terms of lack of grants and all young people who have lost an important year in education, says member of the finance committee, Hans Andreas Limi.
FRP believes the government is now failing both the sick, children and young people.
They believe that there is a need for a sharp strengthening of the allocations for psychiatry when the Storting considers the revised budget.
– The alarms ring from professionals and others that there are major capacity challenges in psychiatry. It is frightening that the number of children and young people with eating disorders has increased sharply, and that many more people of all ages are struggling mentally. NOK 300 million in increased allocations for intoxicants and psychiatry is like pocket rubbish to count when we see what challenges we now face. FrP believes that we should allocate NOK 1 billion to address this properly, says party leader Sylvi Listhaug.
– The needs are greater than this autumn
On Tuesday morning, the fiscal policy spokesman in the Center Party, Sigbjørn Gjelsvik, stated that he notes what has not been known through leaks, and already thought that it is a pointer to some of what is reprehensible in the revised national budget.
– There has been a stream of leaks. Here you also notice what is not coming. There has not been a word about tourism VAT or about compensation schemes for aviation. Nor anything about targeted measures for those who are hardest hit, he says to Børsen.
Gjelsvik believes it still seems that the compensation that comes via the municipalities will save everything.
– But it is clear that for many of those who are hard hit, it is not enough to meet the great needs that are.
He points out that the Center Party this autumn was criticized for presenting a large crisis package in its alternative budget.
– But now you see that the needs are even greater than what we saw this autumn, says Gjelsvik and continues:
– The government has resisted in the Storting and has been pressured time and time again. Now the most important focus is to get workers and companies safe through the crisis, because they are the ones we will live off in the future. It is not now that we are going to count on the kroner in the form of oil money use, because this government has spent a lot of money on other things.
– Must be used purposefully
The use of oil money in 2021 is now estimated to amount to 3.7 per cent of the fund’s capital at the beginning of the year. There is an upward adjustment from 3.0 per cent of the Petroleum Fund at the beginning of the year.
Kjersti Haugland, chief economist at DnB Markets, is among those who think the jump in oil money use is sensational.
SV’s fiscal policy spokesperson Kari Elisabeth Kaski stated on Tuesday morning that the key figures from the revised national budget underline the seriousness of the situation Norway is in.
However, she pointed out the importance of spending the money in the right areas.
– It is very strong lye. Whether this is correct depends on what the money is used for. We must prevent a steady growth in the use of oil money that is only used for transfers to business owners. When so much money is spent, they must be used to get people into work and green change, Kaski told Børsen and continued:
– This confirms that we were right in our criticism of the state budget last autumn. At that time, the government was far too optimistic, and this has led to crisis management being poorer and we have seen more bankruptcies.
Fiscal politician Eigil Knutsen (Labor Party) also feared that the money did not have the right recipients.
-The government spends a lot of oil money in RNB, and then we fear that the government does as they have done before: that they cut the wealth tax that gives the richest tax cuts. Our main priority today is that the oil money will be used to get workers back to work, he told Børsen.
Knutsen believes the main priority is that the 90 extra oil billions will be used to get people back to work.
-A powerful package now to get the unemployed back to work, is what people need.