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POLITICS

ANALYSIS: How will the 2022 budget change life in Norway?

Norway's 2022 budget provides for changes to income tax, fuel prices, childcare costs and electricity bills. The proposed budget now has the support required to pass through parliament. 

Pictured is a laptop and accountancy notes.
These are the key things you need to know about Norway's budget for next year. Pictured is a laptop.

The government agreed earlier this week on a budget with The Socialist Left Party. Barring unforeseen developments, this means the budget will have enough votes to pass through parliament later this week.

The full details and finer points of the budget agreed with the Socialist Left Party haven’t been fully revealed, and it’s unclear how much, if anything, has changed since the government unveiled its original budget last month. What we do know so far is detailed below.

What’s becoming cheaper

The government has consistently touted this budget as one for the people, stating its main aims are that those with the least get a fairer deal and those with the most pick up more slack. 

Cuts of around 50 percent to electricity tax between January and March, the months when bills are at their highest, are applied in the budget. 

READ ALSO: This is how much electricity in Norway will cost this winter

There will also be lower taxes for those who earn between 250,000 to 700,000 kroner per year and a tax credit of up to 5,170 kroner for those aged between 17 and 29 who earn less than 535,000 kroner per year. 

Union membership will become cheaper through the doubling of tax deductibles for members to 7,700 kroner. 

Childcare will also get cheaper next year. Firstly, the maximum price for a kindergarten place will be reduced. The maximum a kindergarten will be able to charge for a spot will be reduced from 3,315 kroner per month to 3,050 kroner. 

Furthermore, as part of the negotiations with the Socialist Left Party, it’s been agreed that all first-grade children will have access to a half-day place at an after school activity. In addition, planned cuts to financial support for children’s glasses and cuts in child allowances have been reversed. 

Dental work will become less costly for young people, with 21-and-22-year-olds receiving a yet to be confirmed discount on dentistry. 

Ferries should also become cheaper, and the government said when it unveiled its initial budget last month that 1 billion kroner would be set aside for bringing fares down. 

What’s becoming more expensive?

Norway’s bracket tax, an incremental tax paid based on your earnings and paid alongside the flat rate, will be raised for higher earners. In general, income tax will become higher for those who earn more than 643,800 kroner a year and the entry points for steps three and four for the incremental tax will be lowered. In addition, a fifth step for the highest earners, who make more than 2 million kroner, will be introduced. 

The cost of fuel will go up considerably due to hiked taxes on petrol and diesel. Petrol tax is set to rise to 1.60 kroner per litre, and diesel tax will increase to 1.87 kroner per litre.

The wealth tax will also go up. The overall rate will rise to just under 1 percent of individual net worth. Property will also be taxed more under the wealth tax, and a new step for those with the largest fortunes will be introduced, as a result of the negotiations between the government and the Socialist Left Party. 

Air travel will become slightly more expensive, too, as an air passenger tax will be reintroduced and will cost anywhere between 80 and 214 kroner, depending on the destination. 

What else do I need to know? 

Public transport will receive around 500 million kroner. This reverses an earlier position in which extra money for trains, buses and trams wasn’t planned despite warnings up and down the country that routes would be cut. 

Additionally, people laid-off because of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2021 will receive holiday pay next year, continuing a policy from 2020. 

Next year’s budget promises to be greener. A 28 percent bump to the CO2 tax for the oil industry has been announced, while Norway will not grant new oil exploration licenses in new or little-explored areas. 

READ MORE: Norway rules out 2022 oil licences in unexplored areas

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ECONOMY

Record high food price rises drive latest inflation figures in Norway 

A sharp rise in food prices in July helped drive inflation in Norway over the last year to levels last seen in the 80s, figures released by Statistics Norway on Wednesday show. 

Record high food price rises drive latest inflation figures in Norway 

Norway’s consumer price index (CPI), which measures inflation, increased by 6.8 percent between last month and July 2021, the latest figures from Statistics Norway (SSB) show. 

There has not been higher growth in Norway since 1988. Significant increases in the price of food and fuel helped drive the inflation figures. From June to July, the price of food and non-alcoholic beverages rose by 7.6 percent.

“A historically high price increase for food and non-alcoholic beverages in July was clearly the most important reason for the rise in the consumer price index in July. We have never previously measured a similar price increase for food from one month to the next in the CPI,” Espen Kristiansen from Statistics Norway said of the figures. 

The previous largest monthly increase in the price of groceries was in July 1981, when prices rose 5.3 percent. Over the last year, food has increased 10.4 percent. 

Part of the explanation for the high increase in food last month was July is one of the two times a year when supermarkets have the opportunity to raise prices across the board following negotiations with suppliers. The other month supermarkets can make wholesale changes to their prices in February. 

Fuel also saw a huge rise of 47.4 percent over the last 12 months, although the cost of petrol fell by 4.1 percent over the last month. The cost of goods and services has also contributed to the CPI rising 6.8 percent during the previous 12 months. 

In a recent analysis, Consumption Research Norway (SIFO) at Oslo Metropolitan University concluded that one in three homes in Norway have worse finances now than they did in January this year.

READ MORE: ‘One in three’ Norwegian homes worse off than at start of 2022

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