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Vedum warns of a “clear focus” on the police in the revised national budget


Finance Minister Trygve Slagsvold Vedum (Sp) will, together with the rest of the government, deal with the revised national budget at a meeting on Thursday. Photo: Javad Parsa / NTB

Of NTB | 25.04.2024 06:32:20

Crime and justice: – There will be extra funds for the police in the revised national budget. They are under great pressure, and do an important job for your safety and mine, says Finance Minister Trygve Slagsvold Vedum (Sp) to NTB.

On Thursday, the stage is set for a government conference where the revised national budget (RNB) is on the agenda.

It is in RNB that the government makes updates to this year’s state budget, and the final proposal is presented on 14 May.

– There will still be a clear investment in helping to improve the everyday economy of people throughout the country, says Vedum.

– There will be a powerful effort on defence, police and emergency preparedness, says Vedum.

The Minister of Finance announces three main priorities from the government in RNB:

* A powerful investment in defense and preparedness

* A clear focus on the police

* Strengthen welfare, ensure that people have a job to go to and contribute to people throughout Norway getting better advice

Vedum denies that the investment in the updated budget is a response to that, but admits that there have been challenges in the police.

– The first thing we did when we took over the government was to increase the police budget compared to what Erna Solberg’s government had proposed. But there is no doubt that it has been a demanding time for many in the police due to high price growth and the after-effects of corona, says the finance minister.

He points out that the government’s most important job is to create security for people.

– Security means better everyday finances for people, and good framework conditions that ensure continued growth and value creation for business. But not least, it is crucial for Norway to prioritize safety and preparedness going forward, he says.

Recently, there have been several episodes of violence in Norway with links to Swedish criminal gangs, and several cases of youth crime.

– We are a completely different place to Sweden, but we have to ensure that the police can do their job well, says Vedum.

He says that the government will crush the gangs both through the budget and by strengthening the instruments in the legislation.

– We also have to go after the gangs’ money, he says.

In addition, as mentioned, the government has promised the least NOK 635 million extra for the police, for extraordinary pension expenses, IT operation and maintaining the police staff.

According to the government, the defense budget must be increased by NOK 15 billion together this year and next year, but they have not said how much of that will come already this year.

They have also promised that NATO’s target of spending two per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) on the Armed Forces will be reached already this year.

Calculations NTB has made previously show that at least NOK 5.26 billion more is needed for the Armed Forces in this year’s budget to reach the target. The calculation is based on the latest estimate from the Ministry of Finance for this year’s GDP, which came in March.

The government already in February promised NOK 635 million more to the police this year, but it is uncertain whether the finance minister is talking about even more money than that.

In recent months, the opposition parties Høyre and Frp have repeatedly criticized the government for not prioritizing the police high enough.

The Minister of Finance is concerned about developments in Sweden, where criminal gangs have taken an increasingly large place in society.

So far, the government has come up with one major leak from the revised national budget, and there are several billion NOK extra for the Armed Forces.

(© NTB)


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