DeCode's CEO Denounces Taxation Serving The Rich - The Reykjavik Grapevine

DeCode’s CEO Denounces Taxation Serving The Rich

Published January 15, 2015

Haukur Már Helgason
Photo by
Árni Torfason for PopTech

Kári Stefánsson, founding CEO of DeCode Genetics has stated his opposition to the currently unequal taxation of wages and capital gains, from which the upper classes of society currently benefit.

Interviewed by Helgi Seljan for RÚV, Kári said: “One of the things that outrage me is that when I receive profits from my properties, by selling properties of mine, I pay a 20 percent capital gains tax, whereas the woman who cleans the floor in my office, with her 350 to 400 thousand ISK per month (ca €2,000–2,400) pays a 40 percent income tax. How on earth can it be considered just that people pay less from income they earn through their properties, without ever leaving their chair, than people pay for what they have earned by the sweat of their brow.”

Kári further claimed that Icelandic society is too small to support current inequalities. “The fact is that a certain percentage of people in Icelandic society have very high income and pay much lower taxes from that than most ordinary people. I think this is neither just nor reasonable.”

When pressed to confirm if he actually wanted to pay higher taxes, Kári insisted that what he wants to do is irrelevant, but what sort of society he would like to live in.

Kári Stefánsson’s declared monthly wage earnings in 2013 were, according to public figures on tax payments, 9.7 million ISK (ca €60,000). The figure does not include any possible capital gains.

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