Last weeks headlines from Norway

Filed under #lifeInNorway

People who receive work assessment allowance (AAP), sickness benefit or attendance allowance no longer need to apply to NAV to be able to travel to another EU or EEA country in connection with temporary stays.

This above is probably close to the nicest way it is possible to describe the scandal that has unraveled this week:

It seems bureaucrats have sent a good number of people to jail and/or fined them heavily on accusations of fraud because they traveled abroad while receiving allowance or benefits from NAV.

What was the problem? According to our agreement with EU they are not allowed to restrict peoples movement within the EU that way as long as recipients adhere to the rest of the rules, things like filling in necessary forms etc.

To make matters worse, it now seems NAV has been made aware of this a few times already after being defeated in court, but has continued anyway.

The government is also receiving some deserved criticism for not acting after they were warned last year. Some of the worst criticism has died down though as it turns out some of the parties that was loudest in their criticism was in charge when this started. Ooops.

When I was younger and more stupid than I am now I would probably have said something more: maybe I would have said that “bureaucrats and politicians should have gone to jail over this” or something to that effect.

That option is not in our laws as far as I am aware and I have also become more careful to stop judging others and leave it to those qualified, but I do wonder what will come out of this.