Norway to Limit Social Security Benefits for Refugees

Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Anniken Hauglie warns that some benefits will be removed for the new comers.

The goal is to get more people into jobs so that they can live with their own income and make up their own social security rights.

– By removing special social security rights for refugees, they are treated equally with Norwegians who have been living on abroad. It is fair and reasonable, says labor minister to VG.

Next week she introduces the proposal for a dramatic restructuring of the welfare system for refugees. The proposal will be circulated for feedback, and then sent to the Parliament. The rules are intended to apply not later than the summer of 2017.

The change will mainly apply to the 30,000 refugees who has come to Norway last year.

According to Norwegian rules, the refugees are registered in the National Insurance Scheme from the very beginning, which entitles them to a full retirement pension and other social security and welfare benefits, even if they do not work full time.

The Government proposes to reduce the amount of retirement rate down to 179,748 NOK per year for single refugees, and 166,274 NOK for each person in a relationship. 

– The Government believes that the level is adequate for living. But the whole opinion is that it should encourage the refugees to get a job and support themselves, says the Minister.

She also notes that Norway should not have more generous schemes than other countries. 

– We do not want more people to come Norway just because of more favorable arrangements in the welfare system, says Hauglie.

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