PM Inaccurate On Coalition's First Year - The Reykjavik Grapevine

PM Inaccurate On Coalition’s First Year

Published May 26, 2014

Photo by
Anna Andersen

Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson penned a special article in celebration of the ruling coalition’s first year in office, but some of his claims have proven to be not entirely true.

In the article, printed in Morgunblaðið and entitled “In Just One Year”, the Prime Minister makes a number of claims regarding the accomplishments of the Progressive-led ruling coalition. Not all of these claims hold up to examination.

For example, Sigmundur says that “[economic] balance has increased despite fast growth”. However, as DV points out, according to the GINI co-efficient on Iceland, economic balance has actually remained steady.

Secondly, Sigmundur claims that “unemployment is declining and is now at around 4%”. In fact, this depends entirely on where in the country one lives. In Suðurnes, for example, unemployment is at about 7.5%. Nationally, unemployment for the first quarter of 2014 was actually at 5.8%, as it was in the first quarter of 2013.

Where job creation is concerned, the Prime Minister states that “about 4,000 new jobs have been created since the coalition came to power”. In reality, as mentioned before, unemployment remained unchanged between the first quarters of 2013 and 2014. Although jobs did increase by about 3,900 between 2012 and 2013, this was before the current coalition came to power.

Lastly, Sigmundur claims that “purchasing power has increased more during this time than [any time] from 2007”, when purchasing power actually increased by just 2% during this coalition’s first year. By comparison, purchasing power increased by 5.3% between May 2011 and May 2012.

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