No exemption for commuters

Special treatment is not applicable when the income tax policy for Svalbard is changed, according to Norway's finance minister.

Lufttransport operates two AS 332 Super Puma-helicopters for the Governor of Svalbard and the Ministry of Justice and Public Security.
Lufttransport operates two AS 332 Super Puma-helicopters for the Governor of Svalbard and the Ministry of Justice and Public Security.
Publisert

"In my opinion there is no basis for the Ministry of Finance to propose a rehearing of this matter in Parliament," wrote Finance Minister Siv Jensen (FRP) in a decision provided to Lufttransport and LT Tech, which have a contract with The Governor of Svalbard and the Ministry of Justice and Public Security to provide search and rescue services in Svalbard.

Reason for the answer
Jensen's decision stems from a letter from companies in Svalbard claiming the change is potentially dangerous because it may be difficult to recruit pilots, rescuers and other personnel that are based in Longyearbyen. At present, there are more people who commute between Svalbard and the mainland. Working hours are regulated by work- and rest-periods laid down by Norwegian authorities, and the companies noted in their letter there is a risk employees will opt for similar work in mainland Norway with lower commuting times.

"We will conduct ourselves according to the decision and conform to it," said Hans-Arne Jensen, regional director for Lufttransport. "Currently, we don't see any danger, but we have pointed out the risk and that Svalbard's tax regulations draws people to Svalbard. The risk situation we have to contemplate is a loss of competence due to our high-level expertise looking around for similar work in mainland Norway."

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