Oslo set to press ahead with tax plan

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The Norwegian government is continuing to hold talks with just two smaller political groups on the salmon tax issue, after four main opposition parties walked out two days ago.

Millions of krone were wiped off the value of salmon company shares on Tuesday.

With the country enjoying two consecutive public holidays (Constitution Day and Ascension) the hope is that the break can be used to persuade the rebels parties to return to negotiations. But the prospects are not good.

The Labour-Centre party coalition said it will carry on talking with the Red and Socialist Left parties, whose record shows they are not kindly disposed towards the salmon farming companies.

The government this week offered to drop the rate from 35% to 30% along with further cost related concessions before the walk out.

Centre Party spokesman Geir Pollestad has said the higher rate is now back on the table, and if the other parties want the lower 30% rate they should return to the negotiations.

Those parties are the Conservatives, the Greens, Liberals and Christian Democrats.

Pollestad said he cannot understand why parties more to the right rejected the prospect of a lower rate.

Meanwhile, the employers’ organisation Seafood Norway said it believes the entire tax issue has not been properly investigated.

CEO Geir Over Ystmark said proposing something which was hostile to local communities and to business was difficult to understand.

Pressure for a full rethink is also continuing to mount from the coastal salmon farming communities where the Centre Party is traditionally strong.

Both Labour and the Centre Party have seen their popularity slump in recent weeks with a resurgent Conservative Party on course to return to government in 2025.

Mowi CEO Ivan Vindheim has indicated he is prepared to wait for that possibility.

Geir Pollestad, Centre Party spokesman

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