Norway defends tax breaks for industry

Government denies that exemptions from electricity, SO2, CO2 taxes violate EU state aid rules

The Norwegian government has moved to head off possible EU action over a series of green tax exemptions for industry with a denial that these constitute state aid in violation of EU guidelines (EED 24/05/02).

In a letter sent to the Efta surveillance authority yesterday, the finance ministry argues that "a tax obligation limited to particular products or a particular use of these [products] cannot be defined as state support". In July, the surveillance authority launched a formal investigation into Norway's "null tax" policy for industrial electricity consumers, and similar exemptions for taxes on sulphur dioxide (SO2) and carbon dioxide (CO2).

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