View Full Version : How many needy in Norway?

Saturday, September 11th, 2004, 12:09 PM

How many needy in Norway?

The Norwegian government has 90,000 citizens living under the defined poverty level but according to European Union standards this number would rise to 400,000 and include everyone in the country living on a minimum pension.
Opposition parties and other critics want the definition of poverty changed, others see the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) standard that Norway uses as a reasonable measure.

The Center and Socialist Left (SV) parties criticized the government definition of NOK 82,000 a year for a person living alone as the poverty line and SV politician Karin Andersen challenged deputy social minister Kristin Ravnanger, who defended the limit, to try it.

"Ravnanger could try herself to survive on 82,000 kroner (USD 12,000) a year. Those that think this is fine, should look around," Andersen said.

Andersen agrees that the EU level is too high to apply to Norway, but that a realistic mark lies well over the government's figure.

The Labor Party found no problem with government policy.

"We have accepted the government's standard but at the same time believe that we must realize that many are just barely above the poverty line," said Labor social policy spokesman Bjarne Håkon Hanssen.

Jon Epland at Statistics Norway (SSB) said the EU norm used by official EU statistics bureau Eurostat can make affluent nations look bad. By measuring the median income, a much higher standard is imposed on richer countries.

Epland also pointed out that the Eurostat method took into account factors such as savings made by shopping for households compared to shopping for singles, which the Norwegian model did not.

"Formerly the OECD model was much used, now the EU model is becoming increasingly popular," Epland said.

Saturday, September 11th, 2004, 08:49 PM
Doesn't Norway have one of the largest average annual incomes per capita in the world?