Rejecting industry levies
The debate in Iceland has focused on additional taxes on the fishing and aquaculture sectors

Rejecting industry levies

The director of Iceland’s vessel owners’ federation SFS has remarked on the mood in Norwegian politics as it has turned against the notion of placing particular taxes on the fishing and aquaculture sectors.

SFS director Heiðrún Lind Marteinsdóttir points out that Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg’s Conservative party recently carried a motion that fisheries and aquaculture should not be subject to any extra-ordinary taxation, and that the party supports a sustainable welfare state with the emphasis on economic encouragement.
According to SFS, there is a lesson here for Iceland’s politicians.
‘This is a remarkable piece of news, just as the debate in Iceland revolves increasingly on how how the fishing industry and then the aquaculture sector can be taxed,’ Heiðrún Lind Marteinsdóttir said.
‘Norwegians have realised that it’s better to support this sector and not to weigh it down with special taxes. This is not least of interest as Norway is our main competitor in supplying seafood to the international market.’

SFS director Heiðrún Lind Marteinsdóttir. Image: SFS

She points out that Norway’s Liberal (Venstre) Party passed a similar motion at its party congress, stating that companies being in a position to invest is better for the country as a whole, coastal communities and the industry.
‘It’s vital for politicians to be aware that a strong industry benefits everyone, especially in the places where fishing is the backbone of the community – and not least in those places where aquaculture has made a real difference,’ she said.
‘We can only wish that there was a greater awareness in Iceland that strong industry is the basis of healthy regional policy.’