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9 April 2020

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Norway Provides Update on Economic Measures in Response to COVID-19

The Norwegian government published a release on 6 April summarizing the economic measures adopted and proposed in response to COVID-19. For businesses, the measures are summarized as follows:

Measures aimed at business and industries

  • A compensation scheme for otherwise sustainable businesses with at least a 30% drop in revenue due to the virus outbreak. The amount of support will depend, among others, on the size of revenue loss, the size of the enterprise’s unavoidable fixed costs and whether the enterprise has been ordered by the government to close (separate release]).
  • A reduction in employer-paid days from 15 to 2 for temporary lay-offs, from 10 to 3 for care-related leave and from 16 to 3 for corona-related sick leave.
  • Allowing loss-making companies to re-allocate up to NOK 30 million of the loss in 2020 against taxed surplus from 2018 and 2019 and refunding the tax value of this loss in 2020.
  • Postponing deadlines for payment of value added tax, employer tax, advance tax for self-employed and companies, and several exercise taxes, including CO2
  • Reduction of the low VAT rate, which includes passenger transport, accommodation and parts of the cultural sector, from 12% to 8%.
  • Suspension of the tax on air passengers, for flights in the period from 1 January until 31 October 2020. Suspension of payments of aviation charges.
  • Purchase of domestic air routes where there is no basis for commercial operations due to the crisis. Budget allocation of NOK 1 billion.
  • An aviation guarantee scheme totaling NOK 6 billion, with a 90% government guarantee on each loan. NOK 3 billion is directed to Norwegian Air Shuttle, 1.5 billion to SAS and 1.5 billion to Widerøe and other airlines.
  • Temporary purchase of basic rail transport services (NOK 550 million)
  • Increased funding for Innovation Norway and the Research Council by a total of more than NOK 3 billion, and NOK 1 billion increased investment capital in Investinor.
  • A compensation scheme of NOK 1 billion to pre- and after school cares and daycares.
  • A compensation scheme of NOK 900 million for culture, sport and voluntary sectors.

Guarantee and loan schemes for businesses

  • A state guarantee scheme for bank loans to enterprises, with a total guarantee volume of NOK 50 billion. The state guarantees 90% of each bank loan. Entered into force on March 27, after approval by the EFTA Surveillance Authority.
  • A government bond fund with an investment budget of NOK 50 billion to increase liquidity and access to capital in the Norwegian bond market.
  • Increased borrowing limit in Innovation Norway’s loan scheme by NOK 1.6 billion.

Note - The update does not include the further reduction of the reduced VAT rate from 12% to 7%.

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