Helgi Hjörvar, MP for the Social Democratic Alliance, is accusing the Progressive Party-led government of essentially giving a 10 billion ISK gift to vessel operators while at the same time doing nothing to benefit the elderly and disabled.
The government’s bill proposing the reduction of fees charged to quota holders and ship owners for their right to fish was discussed in Alþingi today, and will likely continue to be a heated topic of discussion through to the deadline for comments this coming Monday, RÚV reports.
“This is a 10 billion ISK gift certificate to ship owners. The reduction of the fishing fee is a priority of the government and is being rushed through Alþingi, while at the same time the bill addressing the elderly and disabled is not discussed,” said Helgi.
As the Grapevine previously reported, a petition is currently collecting signatures in opposition of the government’s plans to revoke the fishing fee and at the time of writing it has amassed more than 28,000 signatures. The petition urges Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson not to revoke the fishing fee otherwise the petition will be handed over to President Ólafur Ragnar Grimsson requesting that he veto the bill and put the matter up for national referendum.
Fisheries and quota owners have been generous financial contributors to the Progressive Party and the Independence Party, both of which comprise the current coalition government.
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