Norway has small differences in income and a high living standard. Our tax and transfer systems cater for redistribution to individuals and households with low income. Public investment in infrastructure, social protection and public care services have been a key to narrowing the gender gap, and women's participation in the labor market has been a major factor in wealth creation.
I represent the largest private business and employer's organization in Norway, the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise. Our mission is to promote legislation and industrial policies conducive to a prosperous business climate and ensuring that framework conditions for business and industry are consistent with this goal.
Inequalities have increased slightly in Norway. This report is the Confederations' Long-term Perspectives on the Norwegian Economy. The report discusses amongst other the main reasons for the increased inequalities and its consequences for our welfare and economic growth. Increased inequality may lead to a decrease in trust between the government and the population, and lead to a less effective economic governance.
Together with the Norwegian Government and the Trade Unions, we strive to keep a flexible and well-functioning labor market. This is in line with the Government policy to support education and training systems responsive to labor market that stresses the need for having a qualified workforce with the right skills.
Our system of wage formation with centralized collective bargaining between a few strong organizations on the workers' and employers' side is important. The centralized aspect of the negotiations facilitates a relatively equal distribution of income. Combined with a well-functioning welfare system for unemployed and strong institutions, the Norwegian model has contributed to a flexible labor market and reduced inequality.