Norway coalition partner pushes for higher financial taxes

Audun Lysbakken, leader of the Socialist Left Party in Norway’s ruling coalition, has called for higher taxation of the financial sector, in light of bonuses earned and statistics showing earnings there are growing faster than any other sector of the economy.

Crucially, Lysbakken has not argued for any new taxes to be developed, but rather than existing taxes, such as VAT, are applied equally to the setor as they are to other industries.

The comments were carried in business daily Dagens Næreingsliv.

By increasing the tax revenue it would raise an additional NOK9bn, he said.

The statement is important in context of an government agreement drawn up in 2004, which aims to maintain a taxation burden overall that is no higher than in 2004.

But those in favour of increasing the share paid by the financial sector point to neighbours Denmark and Iceland, where specific financial taxes have been introduced.

Lysbakken also links the discussion of adjusting the fiscal code in Norway to the imbalances occurring in the economy between the oil and gas sector driving growth, versus sectors that are struggling. The debate is being stoked by plans to further develop the oil and gas industry in parts of the country, particularly the North, against ideas for environmental protection or more sustainable industries.


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