BREAKING NEWS – Salmon tax deal is agreed

A dramatic late agreement appears to have been reached over the Norwegian government’s proposed salmon tax.

The Labour-Centre coalition appears to have reached a deal over the salmon tax or “ground rent” tax with the Venstre (Liberal) Party and Patient Focus, which has just a single seat in the Norwegian Parliament.

According to the financial news site e.24.no the Liberals have achieved their demand of reducing the basic rate to 25%. Originally it was 40% and political horse-trading had brought it down to 35%.

Whether this will be enough to satisfy the salmon farming sector remains to be seen, but fish farming shares rose on the Oslo Börs this afternoon following the news.

E24 reports that Eigil Knudsen, chairman of the Parliament’s Finance Committee, has said that it is good that such an important industry for Norway now has predictable framework conditions.

Knudsen added: “There is now broad cross-party support in the Storting for land rent tax on aquaculture.

“We are now putting in place a historic ground rent tax in Norway, which means that businesses that use communal land for commercial activities pay a tax to the community and local communities that have farming activities.”

The agreement means that the parties will now put forward a joint proposal for a vote in the Storting, Norway’s Parliament, on 31 May.

Earlier it looked as if the issue would end in chaos after a failure to reach agreement. Last week four main political parties walked out of talks over the issue.

Their departure left the government in negotiations with the Socialist Left party which had demanded a 48% rate and the inclusion of cod farmers.

Somehow, the government managed to persuade the Liberals and the one Patient Focus MP to return to the table.

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