Friday, 24 August 2012

Norwegian Labour Party propaganda

The editorial (22.08.2012) at, the Norwegian financial news paper, reads as follows (translated using Google Translator and altered where necessary),

[Norwegian] Labour Party Secretary Raymond Johansen started the celebration of the party's 125th anniversary yesterday. He talked the party acting responsibly and how important that was for the party, but had trouble giving other arguments that voters should continue to vote for Labour. And began as usual to talk about right wing tax cuts instead. He noted that the Progress Party will have 29 billion in tax cuts and told how it will undermine the welfare state.

But every time Norwegian voters hear the coalition talk about the terrible consequences right wing tax cuts will have, they should think of the 22 July Commission report. It states that the Justice Ministry and the Norwegian police were poorly led, that politicians use resources in a very inefficient manner and that the reason Grubbegata [where the government quarters are located] was not closed was the abrogation of responsibility in the government and bureaucracy. 
Lack of money was not the main problem concluded Commission head Alexandra Bech Gjørv.
It is the government's responsibility to ensure that the bureaucracy works and that the public sector uses resources to solve problems and not just make nice plans for the desk drawer. The government has not done so in the Ministry of Justice. The Ministry of Government Administration, Reform and Church Affairs has not impressed either. And there is every reason to believe that NAV (the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration), hospitals, schools and other parts of the Norwegian public sector can be led and organised better. This means that resources can be used in a way that provides more services for the money or at least the same services for less money.
The 29 billion in tax cuts that Johansen believes will destroy the welfare state, constitute less than three percent of total government spending. It's not a particularly ambitious goal for better management and utilisation of resources in the public sector. A government that is more concerned with the management and execution than the incumbent, may give voters both better services and tax cuts.Labour's primary arguments that the party should continue to rule have been that it acts responsibly [more so than other parties] and its management abilities. The 22. July Commission makes it difficult to continue that argument. It does not demonstrate responsibility to downgrade safety and security, and it is not good leadership to allow the police to take time off when crimes occur [there are fewer police working during week ends and the month of July when crimes are at its highest]. And it's not just about having the most money to spend.
See also yesterday's editorial for more issues related to the current Norwegian government.

For more on Norwegian central government spending and more see a series of articles published on the EcPoFi website here.


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