Now Iceland fears salmon land tax

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THE body which represents Iceland’s salmon farming companies has expressed fears that its members could face a land resources tax of the type now being advocated in Norway.

Heiðrún Lind Marteinsdóttir, managing director of the Confederation of Icelandic Fisheries Companies (SFS), said the Norwegian development had sparked considerable interest in Iceland, adding that it was possible that some of the country’s politicians may want to adopt similar proposals.

An independently constituted committee set up by the government in Oslo is currently looking at possible new taxes on Norway’s fishing and aquaculture sectors and will make its recommendations later this year, but some parties have suggested that salmon companies should be made to pay a levy on the size of the land and water areas they use.

The SFS, which took on the work of the Iceland Fish Farming Federation in January, said it welcomed the news that Norway’s prime minister, Erna Solberg, had come out against imposing such a tax.

In order to prosper and create value, the industry needed a solid and predictable framework, said the confederation.

Marteinsdóttir said it was important that politicians should focus on creating a strong industry, but added it was remarkable that much of the current debate in Iceland was centred around how the fishing and aquaculture industries should be taxed in future.

She said it was important for politicians to realise that it was important for the regional economy in particular that fisheries companies should remain financially strong.

In some parts of the country, aquaculture had played a crucial role in increasing employment, she concluded.

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