30,000 Icelanders Below Poverty Line - The Reykjavik Grapevine

30,000 Icelanders Below Poverty Line

Published May 10, 2010

Among the other ideas brought forth in a meeting about poverty that was held at Grand Hótel yesterday was the notion that the general labor agreement is not in touch with the reality of living in Iceland.
Attendees of the meeting came from all walks of life, RÚV reports, offering a variety of ideas for combatting poverty in Iceland, such as improving the social welfare system, lowering taxes, and creating jobs.
Ahmed Awad, originally from Egypt but has lived in Iceland for 45 years, told reporters that he believes that “the minimum wage ought to be about 250,000 and taxes should be lowered. That would help a lot.” As it stands, there is no set minimum wage in Iceland, but unions negotiation collective bargaining agreements with employers and the government to establish minimum wages for their industries.
Another attendee, Borghildur Guðmundsdóttir, seconded raising wages, and believes that job creation is key. In fact, the Icelandic government has been working to create new jobs in the field of construction.
Although the economy is slowly improving, many Icelandic families are left waiting for the results of this improvement to reach them.

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