There’s an interesting trial that opened in Oslo today. Three men (two Norwegian-Abanian and one Norwegian-Somalian) are charged with terrorism, and at least one of them has admitted to being a member of ISIS. There have been several similar cases in recent years, and one of the things media has pointed to is the fact that many of these men have at some point received benefits from the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (the Norwegian acronym is NAV).
Some of them have even continued getting these money transferred to their bank accounts while they were fighting for ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The most famous one, Ubaydullah Hussain, even had the audacity to criticize the fact that he had to pay tax to Norwegian authorities while he recieived almost $ 3000 a month from NAV. I’m not sure he’s been to Syria, but he claims to be political and that has enabled him to encourage terrorism and make statements it’s hard to convict him of in a democracy, and according to the biggest TV channel in Norway, he has been very active in helping Norwegians go to Syria.
Besides the problematic fact that some of these people could leave the country, come back and continue getting benefits from NAV, I have some questions about why they got it in the first place. I know people with serious health issues that don’t get disability or benefits. There are several in my family that have done what was expected of them, but it ruined their health completely. Of course no one thanked them for being loyal and hardworking.
It must be very hard for them to see what is going on today. I think they feel that all citizens should receive benefits if they need it, but giving it to young men that clearly can work, seems wrong. Many of these terrorists are born and raised in Norway, and I don’t understand why they get special concideration. There are other options and many other young people on benefits are told they have to do special work-programs in order to keep the benefits. But appearantly not these men. I agree that NAV has to accept more responsibility then they are doing, but there is also a lack of information. PST (the Norwegian CIA) know pefectly well were these people are and when they are coming back, but they keep that information to themselves. But NAV could still require that these healthy young men show up for some type of work.
Norway has been accused of having too generous benefits. I don’t think we do, but I’m not sure the government gives the money to the people that really need it. I have an older relative who constantly says that the worst thing that ever happened to us was finding oil in the 1970’s. He may have a point, because although the national budget keeps growing, we seem to be having less money to spend on those that truly need it.
I guess that’s the Norwegian tax kroner at work.