Let's further develop the Norwegian fish farming industry and export technology, was our message when parliamentary politician Jone Blikra and mayor Hallgeir Kjeldal came on a company visit together with NHO (The Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise).
If the taxes hit too hard it will have a negative impact on coastal Norway and the supplier industry because investments are put on hold. We are already experiencing negative consequences of the Government's proposal for a new resource rent tax regime for the fish farming industry and we think it is important to convey this to our politicians.
"The potential for growth and job creation is great, but the framework must be appropriate because the challenges can be tough," says Nils-Johan Tufte, CEO of Bluegreen.
The investments are large and thus need space for financial maneuver:
"This is absolutely essential for companies to take the investment risk", he emphasizes.
8 out of 10 companies are dissatisfied with the government's policy, according to Næringslivet's survey which was recently launched. The government's proposal on resource rent tax affects the supplier industry negative. The fish farming industry wants dialogue with the politicians to find a good solution. The proposal creates discussion, among other things, concerning the price model.
"Several salmon farmers say that the standard price is a huge issue, as they risk being taxed far more than they actually earn if the spot prices rise far above the contract price. Therefore, they now avoid entering into long contracts", explains Tufte.
We are already experiencing investments being put on hold and projects being postponed or put on hold.
"I am calling for dialogue and predictable framework conditions for the companies."
Our proposal is a resource rent tax of max 15% and the right layout with a higher minimum deduction and real cash effect from the authorities for investments.
"The numerical basis that the government has used is not entirely correct and the interest rate should be reduced considerably," says Tufte. "Good framework conditions for the industry are essential, and the proposal for environmental technology licence, which promotes closed technology such as Marine Donut, is important to establish. There is a great need for a system of environmental technology permits."
Parliament politician Jone Blikra will bring Bluegreen's thoughts and feedback into the budget discussion at the parliament:
- The tax regime will be looked at more closely, promises Blikra.
Mayor of Bamble municipality, Hallgeir Kjeldal, is concerned with local jobs and increased value creation. He believes that the layout of the government's tax proposal can create challenges.
- Municipalities like Bamble depend on a profitable supplier industry. I am impressed by what Bluegreen has achieved so far, and we politicians should facilitate further growth, not make it more difficult, says Kjeldal.
The politicians were given a tour of the construction site where Marine Donut is being built. It is a closed breeding facility, packed with technology and sensors, which solves the challenges in the farming industry related to salmon lice, escapes and production costs.
"If you really want to make a difference, the fish farm must also be financially sustainable, and secure a competitive price for the fish. I believe Marine Donut has all the prerequisites to be able to deliver on this criterion as well," concludes Tufte.