Pensions dominate – strongest growth in transport
Pensions and other social benefit programs are by far the chief expenditure item in general government. However, the strongest growth in government expenditure can be found in road and rail.
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In 2018, expenditure on social protection totaled NOK 675 billion, according to updated figures for general government revenue and expenditure, In the statistics this function of government includes pensions and other benefits, mainly through the National Insurance Scheme, and social services in central and local government. Social protection constituted nearly 40 per cent of total government expenditure.
Figure 1. Government expenditure by function. 2018
|Local government||Central government|
|Environment protection and housing||50.6||8.2|
|Defence and public order and safety||6.5||94.5|
|Road and railway transport||52.9||67.2|
Increased expenditure on road and rail
Government functions in road and rail transport comprise expenditures disbursed for maintenance and investment in the road and rail network. Operation of public transportation is also included. In 2018 expenditure on road and rail is estimated at NOK 120 billion. This equals an annual growth of 7.4 per cent since 2013, when the total expenditure amounted to NOK 84 billion. In comparison, total government expenditure growth was 4.9 per cent in the same period.
Expenditure in defense, fire and rescue services, police, law courts, and prisons has also grown more rapidly than the period average. The growth is influenced by the procurement of fighter jets for the military defense, which is entered into the statistics when the jets are delivered, and not when their costs are settled.
Expenditure on health and education, a significant function in both central and local government, has increased approximately at the same rate as total government expenditure. On the other hand, social protection has grown slower than the average, with annual increase of 4.5 per cent.