From Iceland — Greater Tax On High Income Earners Could Help Fund Health Care

Greater Tax On High Income Earners Could Help Fund Health Care

Published November 23, 2016

Andie Sophia Fontaine
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Iceland’s faltering health care system may get a much-needed infusion of funding, financed by raising taxes on those making more than 1.5 million ISK per month.

Coalition formation talks are currently ongoing between the Left-Greens (who were given the mandate to form the coalition), the Pirate Party, the Social Democrats, the Reform Party and Bright Future. RÚV reports that in the course of these talks, it was discovered that government coffers are actually more depleted than was expected.

Left-Green chair Katrín Jakobsdóttir told Vísir that Iceland’s health care system is severely lacking in funds.

“We have determined that in the coming year, the health care system is short some 19 billion ISK in the departing government’s budget,” she said. “That funding doesn’t grow on trees.”

In order to remedy this, one of the ideas that has been put forward is to raise taxes on Iceland’s high income earners; in this case, defined as those making 1.5 million ISK per month or more. Another possible tax could be applied to those making more than 2 million ISK per month.

Katrín added that while she was “open to other options”, increasing taxes on the middle class is “out of the question” and off the table.

“We are looking at those who own a great deal of wealth,” she said. “There is always more and more wealth consolidating into fewer and fewer hands.”

Coalition talks are still ongoing, but she said that she should be updating the President on the state of these negotiations “in the coming days”.

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