Norway’s Finance Minister downplays tax challenge

Trygve Slagsvold Vedum, the Finance Minister who announced Norway’s “salmon tax” tax almost a year ago, has said he is not concerned about the prospect of a legal challenge to the tax by the country’s biggest fish farmers.

Stating that he believes the government to be on safe legal ground, Vedum said: “Mowi has been against this tax all along, even though it helps give more back to the community and local communities.

“They have put enormous effort into stopping the salmon tax, but they were unable to get the elected representatives on board.

“The majority in the Storting [the Norwegian Parliament] wanted to introduce the salmon tax, partly because we want those with huge profits to contribute more to the local communities where they are.”

He also said he was not surprised salmon companies were resorting to legal action after they failed to stop the tax politically.

Last week, Ivan Vindheim, chief executive of major salmon producer Mowi confirmed that the company plans to sue the government to get the new tax dropped. He said that the tax was in breach of European Economic Area (EEA) rules.

Also last week Mowi’s competitor SalMar said, as part of its Q2 report, that it may take legal action against the Norwegian government over the salmon tax.

SalMar stated: “The company will continue to argue for a change to the overall tax system and tax level for Norwegian aquaculture in a close and fact-based dialogue with the authorities and decision-makers. SalMar is open to any legal action related to the ground rent tax.”


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