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Foss will probably not cut oil tax

Foto: Jørgen Berge
Sist oppdatert:
Minister of Finance Per-Kristian Foss (right) will most likely not cut the oil companies tax level of 78 percent in spite of the industry’s request.

This information was relayed by a central source to the Norwegian paper Stavanger Aftenblad.

«The oil industry doesn’t have to hope for any particularly concrete tax relieves in the suggestion to the revised national budget May 11,» stated the source. «The maximum would be an evaluation of relieves for completely marginal fields.»

The oil companies are today paying an ordinary company tax of 28 percent on surplus, in addition to a special tax of 50 percent, and the marginal rate of tax ends at 78 percent.

The oil industry presented last fall an extensive report where the industry claimed that a tax cut would contribute to new activity in Norwegian offshore and more jobs in the supply industries on land. Apparently, Foss was not convinced.

Karine Nyborg at the Ragnar Frisch Center for Economic Research who has gone out against a general tax cut. The reason is that there is no lack of profitable oil and gas projects in Norwegian offshore, but the large companies have neither the ability nor the will to expand.

On the other side, the oil industry claims that a tax cut must be instituted in order to get the oil companies to increase the exploration, and hopefully find new and profitable fields.

The revised budget will be presented May 11, and the same day, the government will present its white paper on the oil industry.

Neither Per-Kristian Foss nor Minister of Oil, Einar Steensnæs, wants to comment the white paper.

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