There is broad agreement in Parliament regarding support for the government’s package for Ukraine. The request of several parties to exclude aid funds was not met by a majority.
The Finance Committee’s recommendation was ready on Thursday. It states that the government receives support for the main lines of its proposal from all parties in Parliament.
It is a strength for Norway that Parliament in a time of crisis assembles behind a government proposal to deal with the repercussions of the war in Europe. It is critical that we receive refugees now in a good way, and that we strengthen defense and emergency preparedness, says spokesperson Jair Bolstad (Sp).
The government proposed measures totaling NOK 14.4 billion. Of this amount, 10.7 billion Norwegian kroner will be allocated to receive Ukrainian refugees in Norway. This means, among other things, more money for asylum reception centers, the police, integration grants, housing rental, and settlement in the municipalities.
In addition, the armed forces, civil and military preparedness will be enhanced by NOK 3.5 billion. Funds were also earmarked to compensate the business community for sanctions against Russia, particularly in East Finnmark.
From where the money will be taken, the government will return to the revised budget. The budget proposal will be submitted on May 12.
More about shelters and children
SV has also had a majority to expand the package at some points. :
- * Pediatric expertise in asylum reception will be enhanced.
- * Increasing the number of workers in shelters.
- * More money for lending centers where you can borrow equipment for sports and leisure activities for free.
It was important to include the changes because there was an unusually large proportion of women and children among the refugees, says SV fiscal policy spokeswoman Carrie Elizabeth Caskey.
– We’ve seen that when it comes to shelters, you actually notice an increase in pressure. And at receptions that now have many children, they have very few staff, Kaski tells NTB.
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Conservatives do not support expansion. The party had previously announced its readiness to support the government’s proposal as it is, but warned against entering into a “bidding round” with the other parties.
– Too bad they didn’t want to be a part of it, but spoke to SV and promised more money, says Tina Pro, a spokeswoman for conservative fiscal policy.
We cannot treat crisis packages as regular budgets where all parties must negotiate their fads in order to support the necessary increases in spending. She says there is a big difference between what we have to spend money on, and what was good to spend money on.
The debate over aid continues
The question of where the money will be taken will be the next stage when the government submits a proposal for a revised budget. Several parties – KrF, SV and MDG – opposed the government’s collection of some funds from the development assistance budget. However, the proposal to exclude development assistance did not receive any proposals.
KrF calls it antisocial. Fiscal policy spokesman Kjell Ingolf Robstad says the argument that more spending means the risk of higher interest rates here at home is not correct.
The extraordinary income of the state should be used to finance the increased expenses of receiving refugees from Ukraine. Continuing to help the world’s poorest will not increase inflation here at home. If Norway, which benefits greatly from the war, cannot refrain from cutting aid to fund the costs of refugees, who will? He says.
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