Stefán Ólafsson, a professor at the University of Iceland (HÍ), has said that Icelanders need to shorten their working hours while increasing their wages in order to bring the country’s standard of living up to par with the rest of Scandinavia, RÚV reports. This is in response to an Icelandic Federation of Labour (ASÍ) report released yesterday that exposes how far behind its Nordic neighbours Iceland is lagging in terms of standard of living. As the Grapevine reported yesterday, Icelanders are earning between 30 and 60% less than their Nordic peers, even after taxes, of which Icelanders pay less.
The disposable income of Icelanders reached an all-time low at the start of 2010, but has since increased slightly. Still it is far lower than what is being enjoyed in Norway or Sweden, for example. Stefán believes it is time for Iceland to adopt a more modern, shorter work week, and increase working wages so that the country can remain competitive in the region.