Published February 14, 2018
While claiming, and receiving, 4.6 million ISK for travel expenses, recently calculations show that Independence Party MP Ásmundur Friðriksson’s travel costs should have been no more than just over 2 million ISK.
As reported, Ásmundur has recently been singled out for public attention and criticism due to having spent the most money on travel expenses within Iceland. These costs are reimbursed by Parliament, in his case to the tune of 4.6 million ISK – the highest amount paid out in travel expenses to any MP currently in Parliament.
While Ásmundur has been on the defensive justifying the expense, new calculations from the Icelandic Automobile Association (FÍB) show he may have drastically over-reported his expenses, RÚV reports.
Ásmundur drives a Kia Sportage, which rolled onto Icelandic streets in March 2016. Ásmundur bought his in December of the same year. Ásmundur did a lot of driving last year – about 48,000 kilometres worth.
FÍB calculated not only fuel costs, but also tune-ups, tires, insurance, taxes, parking, cleaning, and other related expanses, for a KIA Sportage. By their estimate, Ásmundur’s total travel expenses for the amount of driving he did should be no more than just over 2 million ISK.
Furthermore, Parliament’s own regulations stipulate that any MP driving more than 15,000km a year should instead rent a car rather than use their own, as a rental would actually cost less per year. Ásmundur is not alone in breaking this regulation, but the discrepancy between his reported his expenses and his likely actual expenses does raise questions. Ásmundur has not commented on FÍB’s calculations at the time of this writing.