Salmon tax de­bate hots up

Fish Farmer - - European News -

AN in­tense po­lit­i­cal de­bate has bro­ken out in Nor­way over fu­ture plans for tax­ing its fish farm­ing in­dus­try.

The gov­ern­ment is said to be look­ing at us­ing the wa­ter and land re­sources that fish farms take up as a pos­si­ble source for ex­cise rev­enue, dubbed the salmon tax.

This sug­ges­tion has al­ready met with grow­ing op­po­si­tion from the Progress and Lib­eral mem­bers of par­lia­ment, who help make up the gov­ern­ing coali­tion, along with the Con­ser­va­tives and Chris­tian Democrats.

An in­de­pen­dent com­mit­tee, set up by the Oslo gov­ern­ment last year, is in­ves­ti­gat­ing new meth­ods of tax­ing both the aqua­cul­ture and fish catch­ing sec­tors and it is ex­pected to pub­lish its fi­nal rec­om­men­da­tions in Novem­ber.

In ad­di­tion to the nor­mal cor­po­ra­tion tax on profits, aqua­cul­ture com­pa­nies pay sub­stan­tial sums for new li­cences. Most of that is chan­nelled back to the com­mu­ni­ties where the new de­vel­op­ment will take place to help fund schools, med­i­cal centres and so­cial ameni­ties.

Last year, these com­mu­ni­ties re­ceived the sterling equiv­a­lent of al­most £250 mil­lion.

But in­dus­try profits have risen sharply over the past two years and some politi­cians are cast­ing en­vi­ous eyes on the com­pa­nies when look­ing for new sources of tax­a­tion

The back­ing for a land and wa­ter re­sources tax has found more favour with par­ties on the left of Nor­way’s po­lit­i­cal spec­trum.

Seafood Nor­way, which rep­re­sents both fish farm­ers and trawler com­pa­nies, is ar­gu­ing strongly against new tax.

Above: Nor­we­gian salmon farm

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