Some of you will remember the tv series “The Prisoner” – the rest of us have just heard of it! Anyway in The Prisoner people didn’t have names, instead they were known by numbers – the main character in The Prisoner was known as Number 6.
In Norway everyone is also known by an identification number – your fødselnummer. I guess it’s a bit like a National Insurance number in the UK. It consists of your date of birth (6 numbers) plus another 5. It’s needed for so many things!!!
By getting this number you are registered on the “people register”. You have to give this number to your employer so that you pay tax at the appropriate rate. Until you get this number you pay 50% tax – ouch! (You do get to claim back the amount you’ve overpaid). There are also other things you can’t do until you have this number – open a bank account being one. I don’t remember ever being asked by a bank in the UK for my National Insurance number, though it is over 20 years since I opened my bank account. You also can’t have a proper library card, get a pay monthly mobile, get customs clearance for your furniture… the list appears to be pretty much endless.
So come in number 6, your time is up!