Monday, October 21, 2013

A worsening image problem?

What's the value of goodwill? Like many things in life, the best things are not only free but cannot be bought which brings hope for those of us that are poor and something for the rich to ponder."

I don't know what it would have cost Norway to just give Stig Arne Jonsson his unemployment benefit or how many people would have been affected if a legal precedent had been set by them doing this. Who is Stig Arne Jonsson?

"79 The Norwegian State’s interpretation would also run contrary to the aim of Article 
71(1)(b) of the Regulation, which is, as the Court has observed in paragraph 63 above, 
to guarantee unemployment benefits to migrant workers under the most favourable 
conditions for seeking new employment, and to enable the workers to make a choice in 
that respect. That aim would not be attained if, after having had an application for 
unemployment benefits in the EEA State of last employment turned down, the person 
concerned were deprived of all right to benefits in the same State solely as a result of 
subsequently applying for unemployment in the State of residence. Indeed, the first 
application for unemployment benefits made by an applicant, such as the defendant in 
the main proceedings, may be generally presumed to constitute his choice as to where 
to receive those benefits pursuant to Article 71(1)(b) of the Regulation."

That's just one excerpt from yet another judgement by the EFTA Court ..... how does any of this serve Norway?

Norway NEEDS migrant workers and decisions like these won't help Norway compete for the cream of the people prepared to travel so far North and endure the reality of life in Norway. Much as it's hard to see what the UK did with its North Sea Oil, I wonder what the ultimate legacy of Norway's wealth will be. It's not a happy place regardless of what the OECD says. How can a place where 50% of the population will suffer from depression or anxiety be the best country in the world to live?

Let's look more at this judgement ...

"Finally, legislation such as that at issue in the main proceedings, which makes 
acquisition of the right to unemployment benefits subject to actual presence is likely, 
by its very nature, to operate to a particular disadvantage for unemployed workers 
residing outside the territory of Norway."

Now this seems a re-visiting of a case in 2011 where Norway was given its "final warning". See here

I wonder how long Norway can carry on attracting this kind of attention before it affects it's ability to attract the foreign workers it needs? As in the UK, the country would fall apart without its foreign workers and the nation's decision the vote in greater numbers for the party of which Anders Brevik was a member shows a rightward, anti-foreigner trend.

In the UK, Nigel Farage and UKIP have made fine political capital rallying xenophobic dullards unaware why everything in their supermarket trolley is so cheap. If UKIP actually got into power and carried through their policies, I wonder how many UKIP voters would take jobs under gangmasters rinsing and packing salad for supermarkets formerly done at less than minimum wage by migrant workers? .... or maybe they'd prefer cleaning hospitals at 4am?

Something also begins to stink when a country that makes such a big deal of apparently "caring" makes it clear it doesn't care .... I suppose what worries me ... on Norway's behalf ... is that once it's got a reputation for being a place you don't go to, how do you get people to come when you need them? We know the UK and so many other countries are frauds but Norway was always a country you could take seriously and look to with affection and admire for what it had achieved in such an inclement climate. Now, it's beginning to look a bit like a lottery winner lacking class but trying very hard.

I got this from a bloke who worked in Norway .... he doesn't anymore as far as I know ... "Finally I will not contact KPMG again because I have no desire to pay 1,750kr an hour fot their services especially when Stavanger won't even talk to them so I will not use a penny more than the 12,000kr I used already on nothing to be honest"

""The Norwegian tax authorities have now accepted the majority of my business expenses and have credited me with the majority of the tax which has been taken from me at source. As you're probably aware, tax is deducted from workers' income by their employer. In accordance to Norwegian law, the employer is responsible for deducting tax from the worker's gross income and is responsible for payment of the tax to the Norwegian authorities. However in my case, some employers have either not filled in the correct paperwork or not paid the  tax which has been taken from my gross income. The Norwegian tax department will not credit me with these amounts which effectively means that they expect me to pay it twice! I have already paid these amounts in accordance to contracts with my employers and Norwegian law. I find it completely unfair to be "double taxed" for something which is out of my control.
This is the only "main" issue I have left outstanding with them... But I have hired a Norwegian tax consultant at great time and financial cost to myself in order to be treated fairly!"

and then there's this from the same book ...

""Hello, My name is ******* ********** / 3/77 working in Norway since 2002.
Here are the facts in my case:
Last year, the Norwegian Tax Office took 7500 Nok from my bank account claiming I have to
pay taxes that have been deducted already from my pay by a former employer who went
bankrupt and didn't pay my taxes for 2007,2008 and some of 2009 when the company declared
The Norwegian Tax Office are still claiming I owe them money...due to penalties and money
imposed for not paying the taxes that were "stolen" by the now bankrupt Norwegian firm..
So if you can help, please let me know,
My kind regards, ****** *******"

There's more of this kind of stuff in the book .. in the UK you occasionally get headlines like this .... yet in Norway, it seems you get your taxes "stolen", Skatteetaten add interest and fines and then you're denied benefits .... so where will that lead?

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