The Conservative Party believes it is wrong to increase allocation to agriculture as much as the government is proposing, saying it will cut 1.2 billion in this year’s agricultural budget.
The red-green government, with the Center Party as one of the governing parties, has proposed an almost record-high agricultural budget.
Usually the farmers are very unhappy with these budgets, so this budget has been a sure sign of a spring of change. It has been possible to feel something reminiscent of a satisfaction with what the state offers.
But Høyre is far from satisfied. The party believes that far too much money would be given to farmers, compared to what other groups get.
NTB reports on the case:
At a time when regular wage earners have limited wage growth, the Conservative Party believes it is wrong to increase transfers to agriculture as much as the government is proposing.
That’s what Lene Westgaard-Halle, spokeswoman for agricultural policy in the Conservative Party, says in a press release from the party, Nationen writes.
This year’s agricultural agreement between the state and the Norwegian Farmers’ Association is NOK 4.15 billion.
In comparison, the police received an increase of NOK one billion and transport NOK 1.8 billion in the government’s 2023 budget.
Now the Conservative Party wants to save NOK 1.2 billion from the increase the government proposed, i.e. a cut of more than 25 per cent.
Even with 1.2 billion in released funds for our priorities in health, defence and better private finances for people, farmers – who I remind you are self-employed – will see an income increase of 15 per cent, says Westgaard-Halle.
That is three times the ordinary salary income, we will have then stretched ourselves very far. We believe the government must be more persistent with spending money at a time when ordinary wage earners are less well off, she says.
Many will agree with the Conservative Party that more is needed in areas such as “health, defence and better private finances for people”. But not everyone believes that the sum of 1.2 billion cut from the agricultural budget will make all the difference to these very money-intensive sectors.
At the same time, this cut will be quite noticeable for the farmers, who are now set on getting a long-awaited boost.
Some would therefore think that the Conservative Party should rather look elsewhere for the type of funds needed for defence and health, for example, you could look at the sums spent on areas such as aid and climate measures.
In any case, there are few who believe that the Conservative Party and in particular parliamentary representative Westgaard-Halle, are particularly popular among Norwegian farmers today.