Municipalities should be compensated for expenses under the corona. But the city council believes Oslo has come out of the project very badly. Oslo has now sent a request to the government for payment.
The capital has been severely affected by the Corona. The longest closed municipality in Norway is Oslo. It was expensive for the city.
The government promised to approve the bill. Municipalities must be compensated for all costs. But the city council believes that did not happen to Oslo.
Finansbyråd Einar Wilhelmsen (MDG) on the contrary believes that Oslo has been deceived for a substantial sum. So he sent a sharp letter to the government. There he seeks the help of capital to offset the deficit.
– Last year, we needed NOK 850 million to cover corona costs. There is so much we can not live with. Wilhelmson says the government needs to fix this unequal distribution.
He hopes the money will be shown in the revised state budget. Next week comes Thursday.
Oslo clearly gets more
Last year, the Oslo Municipality recovered a total of NOK 1.9 billion from the state to cover the cost of the corona epidemic. This is higher than the second largest city on the list, Bergen, with 687 million.
Oslo also got more money. More personal than Bergen. Compensation for public transport was not included then. Went to the districts. Here, too, Oslo has gained the most clarity. Residence.
– It’s not about Oslo getting more or less than others, it’s about not being able to cover the costs we had. No one agrees that we have received these costs. That’s why it’s so strange that not everyone is given full compensation, says Wilhelmson.
The Oslo City Council estimates that in 2020, the first year of the epidemic, the city spent 250 million corona. With 850 million in 2021, it will cost 1.1 billion.
The gap this year will be greater.
So far in 2022, Oslo has received 90 million. At the same time, the additional costs are 1.3 billion.
The government promises to answer
It is unclear how the government will relate to Oslo’s demand.
In a short email to Optenboston, Secretary of State for the Ministry of Local and District Affairs Ole Gustav Narut (SP) writes that the “total additional costs and reduced revenue that came from infection control measures will be offset”. .
– We have received a letter from the Municipality of Oslo, to which the municipality will receive a reply as soon as possible, writes Naruto.
Vaccination is expensive in Oslo
Einar Wilhelmson believes that there were very special problems in Oslo during the epidemics. The city was closed for a long time, and the pressure of infection was high. In addition, the municipality has expended huge resources to reach vulnerable sections of the population.
– We have made great efforts to reduce the pressure of infection. We have a diverse population, they live close by, and it should reach everyone, says Wilhelmson.
In his letter to the government, he highlights the work Oslo has done against the diaspora. This also applies to migrant workers and others. The municipality has made a special effort to vaccinate everyone.
– We are a big city, we have extra costs. There were vaccination centers in every neighborhood. The Finance Council says a district in Oslo is as big as a large Norwegian municipality.
He believes effort is important.
– If we had failed in Oslo it would have given more epidemics and disease across the country, says Wilhelmson.
The campus was empty
Vaccination centers have incurred additional costs because Oslo does not know when the vaccines will arrive. Thus, both health workers went out of work and the campus was empty. It was expensive.
– We have created vaccination centers and testing centers not just in one place, but throughout the city, leaving large costs with vacancies and vacant premises. Renting premises in Oslo is more expensive than in other municipalities. Everyone fully agrees with that, says Wilhelmson.
He says Oslo had to wait a long time for vaccinations, even though the city was closed. The Corona Commission has previously criticized the Solberg government for not sending more vaccines to Oslo.
The Commission believes this would have saved Oslo huge costs.