The Center Party’s Marit Arnstad will stop large parts of the construction of the new government quarter in Oslo.
Today came the news that the project can have a price tag of over 36 billion kroner. Arnstad got a chin drop.
– It has gone over stick and stone. We can not defend such a use of money, she says to Dagbladet.
It once cost less than five billion to build the new opera in Oslo.
Arnstad believes it is right to rebuild the high-rise block. In addition, she will build one of the five buildings the government has planned to build to bring together large parts of the ministry’s operations. The rest Arnstad believes that the state should not afford.
– All the other buildings should be shelved. We should take care of what we already have. It is a waste not to preserve R5, a building that is adapted to modern ministry operations. And it is unnecessary to force the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to move from Victoria Terrace. The entire new project will also be a wall down towards Youngstorget, Greenland and the rest of the city center, she says.
– Some of the buildings are not adapted to modern government operations?
– Even if you have to make some adjustments, it will be far cheaper to take care of what you have than to build a completely new one.
Sheriffs and the government
The SP top points out that the government is making savings in the districts, but is willing to spend huge sums on the new government quarter.
– This is put in a perspective when the government wants to close sheriff’s offices around the country to save a few million. At the same time, they will spend up to 36 billion on this giant project in central Oslo, says Arnstad.
– We can save billions of tax dollars. We cannot use public funds to build as gigantic as has been proposed. And I also believe that the entire urban development for Oslo will be better if we stop this.
1.3 billion at the start of construction
But it is the price tag that is the main problem as the Center Party sees it. If they end up in government next year, Arnstad believes it is natural to stop the development after the construction of the high-rise block and the so-called A-building. The plan today is for the Storting to allocate the money little by little, from year to year. In 2021, 1.3 billion has been set aside for the start of construction.
– What if we move the whole thing to Eidsvoll, Gjøvik or Namsos. Out of the big city. Are you more interested then?
– I think it is natural that the government quarter should be in Oslo, close to the Storting, Arnstad says.