The FRP is willing to deviate from its primary position in order to reach a broad agreement with other parties on electricity support. – We must be adults in the Storting, says Sylvi Listhaug.
FRP invites all parties to meet to agree on a broad power support agreement in the Storting.
– The situation is precarious, and electricity prices have only galloped for several months. We see that the support scheme for the government is not good enough to help many of those who are struggling. There is agreement on this in the opposition, says Listhaug.
The government through Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre (Labor Party) and Minister of Finance Trygve Slagsvold Vedum (Sp) announced last weekend that they increases the electricity subsidy from 55 to 80 percent until March. The FRP does not think this is good enough.
Before the weekend, there will thus be an invitation from Frps Frank Sve to all other parties in the Storting to meet on Monday at 09 to see if there is a basis for a power support settlement.
There is no tradition of broad settlements ranging from FRP to SV, but there are exceptions: the kindergarten reform from 2003 where the maximum price was introduced. There, FRP and SV found each other, and the government had to follow up.
Listhaug says Frp is willing to deviate from its primary policy in order to achieve a more economically favorable support scheme for citizens and businesses.
– We will put proposals from different parties on the table, and then we must see what we can agree on. Then we are willing to make compromises on our policy – that’s how compromises work. Now we have to sit down with all parties, and find solutions, says Listhaug.
FRP summarizes its most important prerequisite for a broad power compromise:
– Electricity prices must go down. It should be possible for everyone to agree on that, says Listhaug.
Want maximum price
The FRP leader believes that not enough is being done for companies and points out that several companies are running deficits as a result of sky-high electricity prices.
She wants a maximum price of 50 øre per kilowatt hour for private individuals and companies.
– Then it will be predictable for everyone, be it private homes, companies, cabins and industry, Listhaug states.
She believes it is unreasonable that the state has large revenues as a result of electricity prices.
– This is in reality a robbery of ordinary people. The state earns a fortune on electricity, and on the gas we export to Europe. While the state, municipalities and counties are flooded with revenue, ordinary people are bleeding. It does not work anymore, she says.
– Ordinary people are struggling
FRP’s parliamentary representative Frank Sve votes in:
– It is not as SV says that now we must focus on the weakest. Now it is ordinary households and ordinary people who are struggling, and who receive 12,000-15,000 kroner in electricity bills. And the business community gets sky-high bills.
Sve points out that the state has taken in up to 30 billion in revenue to the state as a result of the high prices.
– And then you have not included VAT and electricity tax. So there will be close to 40 billion in extra revenue to the state. People have realized that. And then people should only get 8-9 billion back? It is not durable.
SV will negotiate with the government
SV’s Lars Haltbrekken says that they will now negotiate with the government parties.
– We negotiated the improvement of the power support they proposed before Christmas. It is a good starting point for negotiations. Now we will sit down with the governing parties and see what improvements we can make.
– So you do not pose on Monday?
– Now it’s Friday, Monday is in two days. Our plan now is to sit down with the government and get approval for further improvement of the electricity subsidy.
Haltbrekken says they want to study a maximum price for electricity.
SV already has suggested to revolutionize the electricity market by creating a government giant that will buy electricity from the power companies on long-term contracts – and that will give you a stable low electricity bill.
The right keeps the door open
The Conservative Party’s energy policy spokesperson, Nikolai Astrup, believes it is a matter of course that the state sets up and helps people with the bill when electricity prices are as high as they are now.
– The best measure to stabilize prices is in the long term to build more renewable power, and then we must ensure a fair redistribution in the short term. When it comes to a broad settlement in the Storting, the government parties are obliged to negotiate with SV first, but our door is always open to discuss good solutions if those negotiations do not lead, Astrup writes in an email via the party’s communications department.
The Conservatives are concerned about the government also considering measures for small and medium-sized enterprises and sports clubs and volunteering, and that the electricity support scheme be expanded as soon as possible to include all those who live in housing associations and co-owners with common electricity meters and agriculture.
Think it is realistic with agreement
Sve points out that both Rødt, Frp and Per Olaf Lundteigen in the Center Party have had proposals for a maximum price for electricity.
– Therefore, we believe there is a basis for finding a broad compromise here. We are not concerned with what model it will be, or that it is our proposals that get a majority, we are concerned that we get a proposal that works for people and business.
Listhaug and Sve believe that the government has not been willing to talk to anyone in the Storting other than SV.
– How often did you invite the entire Storting to a settlement when you were in government?
– We had the migration crisis in 2015. Then all parties sat down to see what could be agreed on. Some parties then disappeared, but several remained in agreement. It was a major national crisis. And without comparing the two cases, we are also now in a serious crisis due to the high electricity prices. That is why we must now be adults in the Storting, says Listhaug.