“There will be changes and we go into this with an open mind”, said his party colleague Geir Pollestad in an interview with the Norwegian media Dagbladet. Everyone, including financial analysts, interpreted this as lowering the salmon tax rate, and the 15% started to resonate. At the same time, we learned that it would arrive at the Storting for approval in March. Markets began to celebrate with rises in the shares of salmon-producing companies. The Minister of Finance then opted for silence, but that has not lasted. Trygve Slagsvold Vedum has spoken out today to continue to advocate the 40% initially proposed.
He did so in interviews with two Norwegian financial media, E24 and Finansavisen. “The point is the model”, said Vedum to E24. “We have said the same thing all along”, he told Finansavisen.
“The point is the model”
While politicians go testing the waters in the media about what the percentage tax rate should be – Torgeir Knag Fylkesnes, deputy leader of the Socialist Left Party (SV), the government’s budget partner also spoke to another Norwegian media, Dagens Næringsliv (DN), saying that “15 percent sounds very low” – the tax has already been in force since January 1 and the industry is still waiting.
A few days ago, everything seemed to indicate that the important thing was to secure a revenue of between NOK 3650 to 3800 million, but now Vedum said something else. “The point is the model”, the Minister of Finance stated in the interview with E24. “We do not want a model which means that you tax the same amount this year with very low earnings, but that you should tax according to your ability. It is a good principle and that is what the basic income tax should add up to”.
“The point is that the proceeds will change from year to year depending on the profits in the industry, but nothing is better than if you have an even bigger profit and an even higher salmon price”, he also said to E24. “Then, those who own the companies are left with more, and the community is left with more, so it will vary”.
“We have said the same thing all along”
Vedum repeated this message several times in his interview with Finansavisen and even qualifies it in other of his answers. “We have been very clear all along”, he said. Asked about the uncertainty that these coming and goings over the tax rate percentage are having on the markets, the Minister of Finance blamed on the media. “We see that there is a lot of media speculation, but I don’t think the industry has been upset because we haven’t been ready”, he stated. “It is that we have been clear that some have reacted to. We have been clear and have said that we are going to introduce a ground rent tax, and we are going to do that”.
He follows the same line to refer to last week’s statements by his party’s head of finance, Geir Pollestad. According to Vedum, it is not that Pollestad hinted at a downgrade, but that the media interpreted it that way. “Dagbladet angles its cases”, claimed the Minister in his interview on Finansavisen. “We’ve been saying the same thing all along”, he insisted.
“Basic interest tax is a profit-based tax, and that is the advantage. And that is also an advantage, now only the tax part has arrived, but you also get 40 percent in depreciation”, he highlighted. “So, for future investments, industries with ground rent tax have a very high level of investment, such as oil and gas, because you get a very high deduction. For newcomers to the farming industry, this means a smaller capital requirement”, said the Minister of Finance.
– ‘Kan dra inn mer på lakseskatten: – Ingenting er bedre‘, E24 article by Camilla Knudsen.
– ‘Står fast på lakseskatten’, Finansavisen article by Are Haram.
– ‘Endrer skattebomba’, Dagbladet article by Kjetil Kjær Andersland.
– ‘SV om lakseskatt: – 15 prosent høres veldig lavt ut’, Dagens Næringsliv article by Anders Furuset.