Trygve Slagsvold Vedum

Trygve Magnus Slagsvold Vedum (born 1 December 1978) is a Norwegian politician who has served as Minister of Finance since 2021. A member of the Centre Party, which he has led since 2014, he has been a Member of Parliament (MP) for Hedmark since 2005. Vedum also served as Minister of Agriculture and Food from 2012 to 2013.

Trygve Slagsvold Vedum
Trygve S Vedum kandidater Sp, stortingsvalget 2013.jpg
Minister of Finance
Assumed office
14 October 2021
Prime MinisterJonas Gahr Støre
Preceded byJan Tore Sanner
Leader of the Centre Party
Assumed office
7 April 2014
First DeputyOla Borten Moe
Second DeputyAnne Beathe Tvinnereim
Preceded byLiv Signe Navarsete
Minister of Agriculture and Food
In office
18 June 2012 – 16 October 2013
Prime MinisterJens Stoltenberg
Preceded byLars Peder Brekk
Succeeded bySylvi Listhaug
Parliamentary Leader of the Centre Party
In office
1 October 2009 – 18 June 2012
LeaderLiv Signe Navarsete
Preceded byRune J. Skjælaaen
Succeeded byLars Peder Brekk
Member of the Norwegian Parliament
Assumed office
1 October 2005
DeputyOlov Grøtting
Per Martin Sandtrøen
ConstituencyHedmark
Personal details
Born
Trygve Magnus Slagsvold Vedum

(1978-12-01) 1 December 1978 (age 43)
Hamar, Hedmark, Norway
Political partyCentre
Spouse(s)Cathrine Wergeland
Children2
Alma materHedmark University College
University of Oslo
Military service
Allegiance Norway
Branch/serviceNorwegian army coat of arms.svg Norwegian Army

Early lifeEdit

Vedum was born in Hamar as a son of Trond Vidar Vedum, a lecturer in biology at Hedmark University College, and teacher Karen Sigrid Slagsvold. After finishing the lower secondary school in Romedal in 1994 he entered the three-year upper secondary education in natural resources management, with two years at Jønsberg and one year at Tomb. Following graduation, he studied sciences at Hedmark University College, before enrolling at the University of Oslo in 1999 where he received a bachelor's degree in political science in 2002.[1]

Political careerEdit

Early careerEdit

He chaired the Centre Youth from 2002 to 2004, at the time also serving as central board member of the Centre Party. He was elected to Hedmark county council in 1999, serving until 2005. From 2004 to 2005 he also worked as an organizational adviser in the Centre Party.

ParliamentEdit

He was elected to the Parliament of Norway from Hedmark in 2005 and re-elected in 2009 and 2013. Vedum started out in the Standing Committee on Local Government and Public Administration, then changed to the Standing Committee on Health and Care Services in 2008. In October 2008 he became deputy leader here, and also Second Deputy President of the Odelsting as well as party whip. He was also a member of the Electoral Committee from 2005 to 2012, and from 2009 to 2012 the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence and the Enlarged Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence.[1]

Minister of Agriculture and FoodEdit

On 18 June 2012, Vedum was appointed to the Stoltenberg's Second Cabinet to serve as Minister of Agriculture and Food. He lost his job after the cabinet fell following the 2013 election. He returned to Parliament, where he took a seat in the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs.[1]

Party leaderEdit

In 2009, he became second deputy leader of the Centre Party, then party leader in 2014. At the time, he was the youngest ever Centre Party leader.[1][2]

Vedum led the party into the 2017 election, with the party becoming a clear winner of the election with 10,3 percent of the vote. The party received their best results since the 1993 election. Despite this, there was no change of government. Vedum himself said one had to look back to the 1990s during the EU debate and the glory days of Per Borten’s premiership to find equally good results.[3]

After a lot of speculation, the party convention announced in June 2021 that Vedum would be the party’s prime minister candidate for the 2021 election.[4] His party gained 9 seats in Parliament and receiving 13,5 percent of the vote following the election on 13 September.[5] His party had campaigned to end Erna Solberg’s centralisation policies, and to form a Labour-Centre Party government, the latter to contrary wishes from Labour leader Jonas Gahr Støre.[6]

Vedum subsequently opened to work with the Socialist Left Party in government, and along with the Labour Party, started pre-negotiations on 23 September. On 29 September, the Socialist Left Party withdrew from negotiations, notably citing lack of progress when it came to petroleum and welfare, among other policies as well. Vedum reassured that his party would still work with the Socialist Left if it would be relevant, and called for immediate negotiations to begin between the Centre Party and Labour Party.[7][8] These negotiations began later that day.[9] On 8 October, Støre and Vedum announced that the new government's platform would be presented on 13 October and that they were ready to form a government on 14 October.[10]

Vedum was mentioned as a candidate for minister of local government, but was then mentioned as a candidate for minister of finance after Støre rejected to appoint Sigbjørn Gjelsvik to the position. This was due to the Labour Party preferring a Centre Party member from their leadership to hold the position, a position Gjelsvik did not hold.[11][12]

Minister of FinanceEdit

Vedum was eventually appointed minister of finance in Støre's Cabinet on 14 October 2021.[13]

Over the ensuing electricity price crisis, Vedum stated that he hoped to do something about as soon as possible, saying “If we reduce the taxes on electricity, and there is something we can approve in the Storting”.[14]

Vedum further announced he would freeze executive salaries in the state to avoid a paycheck in state-owned companies, saying that the government would "put on the breaks with full force". He further said: "We will contribute to reduced wages, even if they will still earn well. But they should not exceed what is the average wage increase in the state. Therefore, the government must be active when it comes to executive salaries".[15]

Vedum expressed that there was no “miracle cure” for the electricity price crisis, and said that he couldn’t promise measures that rapid cuts in people’s electricity bills.[16]

Vedum announced clear measures on taxes and fees to start already in 2022, despite a short deadline with the budget to be presented on 8 November. Of the measures, he said: “We will have a completely different distribution profile. If you earn less than NOK 750,000, you will find that the tax measures and the measures we take will make everyday life easier”.[17]

A week before the revised budget being presented, Vedum announced that 1,2 billion NOK would be spent on closure threatened primary schools for every year starting in 2022. He did however warn that if a municipality decides to close a school, they would loose their grant for said school.[18]

On 8 November, Vedum presented the Støre government’s revised state budget.[19]

On 1 December, Vedum said he was willing to take the bill to dissolve Viken. He further said that the counties that make up Viken, Akershus, Østfold and Buskerud; didn’t need to worry about the costs. Vedum went on to say that the government supports Viken’s dissolution economically as well.[20]

On 7 December, with new COVID-19 measures being presented, Vedum announced that the compensation scheme would be reintroduced. This was to help companies who would be effected by the new measures, and that the state would pay for COVID-19 related sick leave from the sixth day. Vedum further said: “The paradox is that the Norwegian economy is otherwise doing very well”.[21]

On 11 December, Vedum, alongside prime minister Jonas Gahr Støre and minister of petroleum and energy Marte Mjøs Persen, presented a security scheme to battle the rising electricity prices. Vedum stated “this scene is more bulletproof”, and said that the government didn’t know how expensive the scheme would be, but had an estimation of ca. 5 billion NOK. Vedum also stated that if the electricity prices became more expensive, so would the scheme.[22] However, this resulted in a large amount of criticism, as the bill wouldn't be applicable for individuals living in collectives, which is about 20% of the total population. Several have also pointed out that the bill would only make a small dent in the sky-rocketing bills, which had risen 5-10 times to their average prices then previous years by December.[23]

In early January 2022, Vedum reiterated that the state would pay for the dissolution of forced merged counties, this time regarding Troms og Finnmark. He also expressed that it would be more costly and bad to continue with the merged counties. The Conservative Party’s spokesperson for financial policy, Mudassar Kapur, criticised the spending, saying that there were more important things to spend money on, such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, electricity prices etc.[24]

Vedum and Støre announced on 8 January that the electricity support would be increased from 55 to 80% until March. Vedum expressed that it was important that the scheme would effect “all wallets”, saying: “When the market does not do the job, we must ensure social justice. The Conservatives criticized us before Christmas because we made a scheme that effected everyone. They thought it should only effect those who need it the most. We have schemes such as housing support and strengthened social assistance. But we are concerned that it should also effect the carpenter, the teacher and the nurse. The high prices are something that affects everyone, then we must also stand up for everyone”. He further said that the government would put forward a proposition to the Storting regarding the adjustments.[25]

Vedum put forward a new crisis package with further measures against COVID-19 to the Storting on 14 January. The package is worth 20,2 billion NOK and notably covers business, culture and volunteering, public transport, aviation and health and care. The package did however receive skepticism from the government’s preferred working partner, the Socialist Left Party. They expressed that businesses that really didn’t need compensation had gotten it unnecessarily, and in addition demanding that the package’s climate profile be sharpened.[26]

On 4 February, Vedum announced the nomination of Jens Stoltenberg to become the next governor of Norges Bank. Of the nomination, he said: “I am pleased that today I can present Jens Stoltenberg as Norway's new central bank governor. The easiest thing for me would probably have been to choose someone else, but I have been concerned with one thing: Choosing the one that is best qualified overall”.[27]

At a press conference on 27 February, Vedum announced that the government would be initiating sanctions against the Russian economy and political leadership. He also stated the government’s goal is to pull the Norwegian Oil Fund completely out of the Russian market. He stated: “Norway wants to withdraw and does not want to be part of the market in Russia, and we will sell out over time. This is an assessment we have made precisely because we want to give clear feedback that a type of abuse we have now seen is not acceptable”.[28]

With rising fuel prices following the war in Ukraine, Vedum faced pressure from the Norwegian Automobile Federation, Norwegian Truck Federation and several of his own MPs to reduce fuel taxes. Vedum told TV2 that the fuel prices would be a topic at the government’s budget conference, but also rejected the possibility of a compensation scheme for the rising fuel prices. He stated: “We will look at measures that make the overall tax and duty level for those who earn less than 750,000 kroner go down and not up”.[29]

On 24 March, Vedum announced the nomination of Ida Wolden Bache to become governor of Norges Bank, after Jens Stoltenberg resigned as incoming governor in order to continue as NATO Secretary-General for another year. At the same time, he expressed understanding for his decision and praised Wolden Bache, stating that “we will get a good governor for Norges Bank in Wolden Bache”. Norges Bank stated that Vedum would put forward the nomination for a six year term, to be accepted at the State Council as soon as possible.[30]

In early May, Vedum sparked controversy when he claimed that Norwegian families’ economy generally was going up and could afford more. His claim was criticised by the opposition and economic experts and professors. Progress Party leader Sylvi Listhaug remarked that Norwegian families could generally afford less.[31] Vedum remained firm of the calculation and denied that he or the Ministry of Finance had tried to “add make-up” to it.[32]

OtherEdit

Vedum has also been a deputy board member of Folk og Forsvar (1999–2000) and a board member of Nei til atomvåpen (2005–2007), Nei til EU (2005–2007), Norway's Contact Committee for Immigrants and the Authorities (2006–) and Menighetssøsterhjemmet (2007–2009).[1]

Vedum participated in the first season of the Norwegian equivalent of The Masked Singer, Maskorama, disguised as The Scarecrow.[33]

Personal lifeEdit

He is the son of teacher and children’s author Trond Vidar Vedum (1946–) and teacher Karen Sigrid Slagsvold (1949–). He is married to Cathrine Wergeland and has two children.[34] He is also known as a skilled dancer.[35][36]

BibliographyEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e "Trygve Slagsvold Vedum" (in Norwegian). Storting.
  2. ^ "Trygve Slagsvold Vedum er tidenes yngste Sp-leder" (in Norwegian). Aftenposten. 7 April 2014. Retrieved 8 April 2014.
  3. ^ "Vedum: – Dette er en strålende kveld for Senterpartiet!" (in Norwegian). Aftenposten. 11 September 2017. Retrieved 10 September 2021.
  4. ^ "Statsministerkandidaten som alltid smiler" (in Norwegian). NRK. 5 June 2021. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  5. ^ "Valgresultat for Senterpartiet – Valg 2021" (in Norwegian). NRK. 14 September 2021. Retrieved 15 September 2021.
  6. ^ "Jubel på Senterpartiets valgvake: – Det er en merkedag" (in Norwegian). NRK. 13 September 2021. Retrieved 15 September 2021.
  7. ^ "SV bryter sonderingene på Hurdal: − Stor skuffelse" (in Norwegian). VG. 29 September 2021. Retrieved 29 September 2021.
  8. ^ "Vedum: – Vi bør gå i gang med forhandlinger så fort som mulig" (in Norwegian). ABC Nyheter. 29 September 2021. Retrieved 29 September 2021.
  9. ^ "Ap og Sp går i regjeringsforhandlinger: − Nå utvider jeg alfabetet" (in Norwegian). VG. 29 September 2021. Retrieved 29 September 2021.
  10. ^ "Støre: – Vi er enige om å danne regjering" (in Norwegian). NRK. 8 October 2021. Retrieved 8 October 2021.
  11. ^ "Kilder til TV 2: Disse ligger an til å bli Støres første statsråder" (in Norwegian). TV 2. 9 October 2021. Retrieved 11 October 2021.
  12. ^ "Vedum blir trolig finansminister" (in Norwegian). NRK. 11 October 2021. Retrieved 11 October 2021.
  13. ^ "Norge har fått ny regjering" (in Norwegian). NRK. 14 October 2021. Retrieved 14 October 2021.
  14. ^ "Håper regjeringen kutter elavgift og moms på strøm" (in Norwegian). NRK. 18 October 2021. Retrieved 18 October 2021.
  15. ^ "Vedum vil fryse lederlønninger i staten" (in Norwegian). ABC Nyheter. 19 October 2021. Retrieved 19 October 2021.
  16. ^ "Vedum: Ingen mirakelkur mot høye strømpriser" (in Norwegian). ABC Nyheter. 20 October 2021. Retrieved 21 October 2021.
  17. ^ "Vedum: Kommer med lovnad til de som tjener under 750 000" (in Norwegian). Dagbladet. 29 October 2021. Retrieved 29 October 2021.
  18. ^ "Årlig milliardpakke mot skoledød fra regjeringen" (in Norwegian). Verdens Gang. 5 November 2021. Retrieved 5 November 2021.
  19. ^ "8. november 2021 - Støre-regjeringens endringer" (in Norwegian). NRK TV. 8 November 2021. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  20. ^ "Vedum er innstilt på å ta regninga for å løse opp storfylket" (in Norwegian). Nettavisen. 1 December 2021. Retrieved 2 December 2021.
  21. ^ "Regjeringen gjeninnfører meteren" (in Norwegian). NRK. 7 December 2021. Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  22. ^ "Så mye billigere kan strømregningen din bli" (in Norwegian). TV 2. 11 December 2021. Retrieved 11 December 2021.
  23. ^ "Strømprisene er rekordhøye fordi politikerne haver inn milliardbeløp på strømregningene" (in Norwegian). Nettavisen. 6 December 2021. Retrieved 20 December 2021.
  24. ^ "Vedum: Staten tar regningen for kommune- og fylkesoppløsning" (in Norwegian). Nye Troms. 5 January 2022. Retrieved 5 January 2022.
  25. ^ "Støre og Vedum: - Øker strømstøtten til 80 prosent" (in Norwegian). Verdens Gang. 8 January 2022. Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  26. ^ "Vedum ber Stortinget om 20,2 milliarder kroner til coronatiltak" (in Norwegian). ABC Nyheter. 14 January 2022. Retrieved 14 January 2022.
  27. ^ "Jens Stoltenberg blir sentralbanksjef" (in Norwegian). Verdens Gang. 4 February 2022. Retrieved 4 February 2022.
  28. ^ "Norge trekker Oljefondet ut av Russland" (in Norwegian). Verdens Gang. 27 February 2022. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  29. ^ "Bensinprisen kan bikke over 30 kroner literen. Økt press på Vedum for å få ned avgiftene" (in Norwegian). Aftenposten. 9 March 2022. Retrieved 10 March 2022.
  30. ^ "Vedum: – En god sjef for Norges Bank" (in Norwegian). NRK. 24 March 2022. Retrieved 24 March 2022.
  31. ^ "Meiner Vedum prøver å sminke reknestykket" (in Norwegian Nynorsk). NRK. 2 May 2022. Retrieved 3 May 2022.
  32. ^ "Presset Vedum forsvarer omstridt regnestykke" (in Norwegian). Nettavisen. 3 May 2022. Retrieved 3 May 2022.
  33. ^ "«Maskorama»: Trygve Slagsvold Vedum gjemte seg bak masken" (in Norwegian). Verdens Gang. 14 November 2020. Retrieved 7 November 2021.
  34. ^ "Babylykke for Sp-Trygve" (in Norwegian). VG. 22 June 2011. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  35. ^ "Sp-Trygve avvist av fru Obama" (in Norwegian). VG. 11 December 2009. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  36. ^ "Danse-Trygve vil finne takten med bøndene" (in Norwegian). 18 June 2012. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  37. ^ "Jan Bøhler tar kraftig oppgjør med Ap i ny bok" (in Norwegian). ABC Nyheter. 23 August 2021. Retrieved 15 September 2021.
Political offices
Preceded by Minister of Agriculture and Food
2012–2013
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of Finance
2021–present
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by Leader of the Centre Party
2014–present
Incumbent