Norwegian government’s budget partner considers a 15% salmon tax too low

Aerial view of a salmon farm in Norway. Photo: Adobe Stock.
Aerial view of a salmon farm in Norway. Photo: Adobe Stock.

Norway continues to be divided over the salmon tax and this division is not only between the government and the industry. According to the government, state revenues should amount to NOK 3.65-38 billion. Experts think that this will amount to less than the estimated 40%, and there are analysts such as DNB Markets who are lowering it to 15%, a figure that has been resonating in the salmon industry for some time. However, in an interview with Norwegian media Dagens Næringsliv (DN), Torgeir Knag Fylkesnes, deputy leader of the Socialist Left Party (SV), and the Norwegian government's budget partner, said that a 15% salmon tax is too low.

The decision has not been made yet

Yesterday it was confirmed that the ground rent tax will finally be debated in the Storting in March. There, the coalition government formed by the Labor Party (AP) and the Center Party (SP) will need the support of other parties to pass the salmon tax proposal into law. The Socialist Left Party is one such party and its position is in favor of the introduction of this land rent tax on salmon farming. However, in his interview with DN, Fylkesnes assured that they will create their own position "based on what has come out through the consultation and the dialogue we have had with the industry and other actors".

Regarding what would be the correct level of ground rent tax Fylkesnes told DN: "Initially, 40 per cent has been proposed. We are not going to speculate about what the level will be". But, when asked about the basic interest rate of 15%, his answer was much blunter. "It is far too early to say, but 15 percent sounds very low", he claimed.

Torgeir Knag Fylkesnes, deputy leader of the Socialist Left Party. Photo: Stortingsarkivet/Scanpix.

Contribute to the community

Just as Minister Vedum has been saying for months, during the interview with Dagens Næringsli, Torgeir Knag Fylkesnes also maintained that there should be a basic income tax that will contribute significantly to the community. On the question of whether NOK 38 billion are significant, the SV leaders said they have not locked themselves into that revenue, but rather believe that there may be a basis for a higher revenue.

However, SV's deputy leader is also concerned that the tax is not configured in a way that turns out to be incorrect or becomes too high. Three things, he says, are especially important to them. It must benefit coastal communities and the community, it should contribute to local ownership and value creation, and they also want to see if it is possible to design it in a way that contributes to a more environmentally sustainable industry.

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