Kristine Kathleen Archer Dreyer
Today’s electricity prices mean that the student economy does not go around.
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Some time ago I watched “Debatten” on NRK. There was record high electricity prices on the agenda. Criticism was leveled at the outgoing government, including from the Labor Party.
The Solberg government was criticized for not taking significant measures to vulnerable groups with sky-high electricity bills. With the Labor Party’s clear position in the debate, I thought that the change of government would lead to changes.
The Labor Party was to provide support to students and others who are struggling to get their finances going. A change of government later, I am sitting in an icy apartment with double wool. For fear of turning on the heaters and potentially having to cut into next month’s food budget.
Extra student support and crisis measures for cheaper electricity have been forgotten by the newcomers at the Prime Minister’s office. Neither I nor my fellow students see a penny coming our way.
I am a voter on the red side who has students’ well-being as a core issue. Now I feel cheated by the government’s promises of increased student support in the election campaign.
It is as if the intentions and the good ideas were only a selling point in the election campaign. Now they have evaporated in step with increased power.
Below the poverty line
Students are young people who in a few years will take over the prime minister’s place, but to get there they obviously have to skip dinner and sit with a bubble jacket in the living room.
As a student, you get a monthly amount of just over 8000 kroner. This should cover all expenses. After paid rent, I am left with 3000 kroner which will cover food, electricity, bus ticket and other expenses.
3000 kroner is all I have, spread over 30 days. In other words, I live, like many other students, under the poverty line in Norway.
How does our government, in the richest country in the world, expect us to turn the economy around when the electricity bill suddenly eats up a third of what we have to deal with?
Promises must be kept
I do not expect a pity party or the sum of a politician’s salary from the Loan Fund. In fact, I think there are good lessons for many in living in somewhat cramped conditions where one is forced to prioritize.
On the other hand, I still expect promises to be kept, and for adult politicians, who are also former students, to understand that “record high electricity prices” do not go hand in hand with the monthly student support.
The solution to this power crisis is not clear in the cards. But as the Labor Party previously proposed to the Solberg government, increased support for those who need it may be a solution.
Another solution may be that loans and scholarships from Lånekassen increase, as both the Labor Party and the Center Party fronted in their election campaign. For my part, I am still sitting icy cold waiting for the government to eat its own words.
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