Call for ‘oil tax' on Norwegian fish farmers
THE Socialist Left, or SV, party in the Norwegian parliament (Storting) has called on the government to impose an oil industry style tax on the country’s fish farmers.
The party has submitted a document which proposes that the industry should pay an unspecified amount per kilogram of salmon, which has been described as a form of production fee and also dubbed by critics as a ‘fish farming oil tax’.
However, the move, which the government is duty bound to consider, is unlikely to gather support from most of the main parties in parliament. And the industry has come out strongly against the plan.
Geir Ove Ystmark, the CEO of Seafood Norway, which represents both fish farmers and conventional fishing companies, said the aquaculture industry fluctuated greatly at different times, arguing that the tax burden should not be based on a few years of high returns.
‘We would like to remind the government that salmon and trout farming are cyclical industries which operate in a highly competitive global market.’
He pointed out that aquaculture companies already contributed to the municipal authorities in the areas where they were based.
Ystmark warned: ‘Norway is not the only country which has good natural advantages for salmon and trout farming.
‘If there are increased costs at home it could lead to investment being moved abroad. It is not given that Norway will always be in the strong position it is today.
‘Prices change from time to time. We have had periods of low prices and major losses in the industry.
‘The fact that we now have high prices and a favourable currency must not lead to the introduction of fees (taxes) that do not take into account that in the future there will also be bad times.’