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Tax policy, Red | Billionaire list: – The day should be used to get pissed off

Tax policy, Red | Billionaire list: – The day should be used to get pissed off
Tax policy, Red | Billionaire list: – The day should be used to get pissed off

Kapital’s recent list of the country’s richest shows that the number of Norwegians who can adorn themselves with the title of billionaire is increasing.

Since last year, the number of billionaires in Norway has increased by nine percent, according to Kapital’s list. Compared to 2021, 444 Norwegians can now call themselves billionaires in 2022.

In the wake of Røkke’s move to Switzerland, the debate about wealth tax flared up again, but a concern from several quarters that rich Norwegians are scared out of the country by the tax level.

37 new billionaires

That concern is not shared by everyone, and the Red party has rather distinguished itself with substantial demands for even tougher taxation of the country’s most prosperous – now it is Kapital’s rich list that is provoking:

– We believe that this Friday should be used to get pissed off. Whatever the crisis, the rich get richer.

This is what Rødt’s deputy chairperson Marie Sneve Martinussen says to Nettavisen.

She believes the figures are a shame at a time when many are struggling to make ends meet due to increased food and electricity prices.

– Since before the corona in 2019, the rich have become richer, but also through the price crisis, says Sneve Martinussen and adds:

– It is obviously too easy to get rich in Norway, but also to get even richer once you are rich. It comes at the expense of other people, says Martinussen.

Rødt highlights, among other things, that property investor Ivar Tollefsen has made a fortune from rental properties in Oslo.

– Those who have rented from him have made him rich, she says.

Member of the Finance Committee at the Storting, Heidi Nordby Lunde (H), believes the Rødt profile is completely wrong:

– Rødt’s premise is false, the richest two percent pay 40 percent of all personal tax in Norway. Despite tax reductions under the Solberg government, the richest paid more in tax than under the Red Grønne, says Norby Lunde, to Nettavisen.

Also read: Tasteful state treasury opens up major tax breaks for people and businesses

Red: – Can’t be hostage to the rich

Oil and shipping magnate John Fredriksen topped the list of Norway’s richest. The assets are set at NOK 124 billion this year. This corresponds to an increase of NOK 118 billion over 20 years, or an average increase of NOK 5.9 billion every single year.

Kapital is said to have never previously noted a higher fortune on the 400 list, and as far as they know, there have never been any Norwegians with a greater fortune either.

Martinussen believes that it is a myth that the rich pay a lot of tax, the reason why it is a lot in kroner and øre is that they earn so much, she believes. The politician is calling for an increase in corporation tax, so that companies that make a profit in particular have to pay more tax.

– What do you think that increased taxation of the richest could lead to them taking their wealth out of the country, which in turn gives less tax to the state. Where will any lost tax money be collected from then?

– We cannot be hostages to rich and powerful people, there will always be a tax haven. We have to fight this, she says, and believes that a so-called Exit tax or relocation tax is a good solution to the problem.

This would mean, for example, that countries that flag out must still pay tax to move out of the country. Rødt also wants strictures regarding the number of years one must live abroad in order not to have to pay taxes in Norway. Among other things, they want to raise this from five to ten or more years.

– The number of kingdoms has increased during Ap’s parliamentary term, how do you comment on that?

– It shows that there needs to be a stronger inclination than tinkering with wealth tax a little, as the government has done. It is not enough to increase wealth tax, here you also have to look at corporation tax. If it is to be the turn of ordinary people, and not the turn of the billionaires, one must look at several measures, says Martinussen.

Also read: Said no to the maximum price: Now Høyre-Astrup is being punished by its own people

Right: – We don’t have a problem

Norby Lunde in the Conservative Party believes that it is not a problem in itself that Norway has had more billionaires

– Growth and value creation are a prerequisite for our common welfare, she says and points out:

– The fact that someone has become richer does not mean that they have taken money from others. Value creation is not a zero-sum game where some become poorer if others become rich, quite the contrary. When we bake the cake larger, we can distribute more to more people.

The Conservatives think it is funny that Rødt believes that fighting poverty is the same as fighting wealth.

– There is no contradiction between tax relief and welfare, it is about prioritizing spending, she says.

The Conservative politician emphasizes that the tax system must have legitimacy and support among both those who have the least and those who pay the most. It must be an arrangement that promotes growth and value creation, but which does not inhibit job creation or drive investors and entrepreneurs out of the country, Norby Lunde believes:

– It is a problem that the tax system in Norway leads to people moving out. If the taxes are arranged in such a way that people move out and stop creating value in Norway, that is a problem. We are not a party that will take on the billionaires, she says.

– Does the Conservative Party want tightening of the tax legislation – if so, which ones?

– We will probably not have major tax breaks in the future, the level should remain stable, it is the arrangements for certain taxes and duties that we are looking at.

The problem according to the Conservative Party is that tax policy is discussed at a general level. It’s about how you use them.

– We want to reduce wealth tax, and remove it completely for working capital. The problem is that even if the company makes a loss, but has assets in the form of machinery and goods in stock, it will be taxed. It is harmful. We therefore introduced dividend tax, says Norby Lunde, which she believes is far fairer.

Note that Kapital’s personal list of Norway’s richest has combined assets and companies belonging to the entire family. This means that other family members’ companies and assets are set up on the person in the family who earns the most.

The article is in Norwegian

Tags: Tax policy Red Billionaire list day pissed

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