Norway’s Labour Party leader Jonas Gahr Støre said during a debate with Prime Minister Erna Solberg that the government has its priorities wrong on tax policy.
Solberg was criticised by her opponent for her continued support for cuts to taxation of wealth, saying that she could not document the benefits of such cuts.
“Company tax must be reduced, as this works. But the wealth tax that you cling on to, but which your own experts are unable to document has any effect, does not work. Your priorities are completely wrong,” Støre said in the debate, which was hosted by liberal thinktank Civita .
NRK reports that Solberg, in an interview with the broadcaster, was unable to point to a specific company that has employed more people as a direct result of the government’s tax cuts.
“Off the top of my head today, I can’t cite anything. There are companies that have taken on staff, but whether that is a direct result of changes to wealth taxation – I don’t think anyone can say,” she said at the time.
In a debate in which both the PM and opposition leader tackled each other with polite, but firm assertions, Solberg responded by telling Støre that he was good at describing problems with how the country is governed, but not quite so forthcoming with specific solutions.
“The Labour Party has talked about competency reforms several times before, but never passed any. You can’t make out you’ve never been in government. What are you going to do specifically? You are good at analyses, and we agree on those, but I’m looking for answers,” Solberg said.
Støre, who has served as the minister for both foreign affairs and health under previous governments, said during the debate that Solberg’s conservative coalition government had not done enough for the economy during its four years in power.
“There is one measure of a strong Norwegian economy, and that is the number of us in a job. This is where our great challenge is today, because the number is falling. We need an organised labour market and to focus on training and competencies,” he said.
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