Icelandic MPs to get 44% pay rise
The 63 new MPs sitting in Iceland’s national parliament (‘Alþingi’) can look forward to a new salary of nearly €9,000 per month, thanks to a 44% pay rise granted to them by the State pay authority National Remuneration Board (link in Icelandic) on election day.
The wage of an Icelandic MP has therefore more than doubled in almost seven years.
On 1 January 2009, MPs saw their monthly salary fall by 7.5%. Since then, their wages have risen again in line with general rulings on pay rises from the NRB.
In the opinion of the NRB, it is appropriate for bring the salary level of MPs back in line with that of district judges, as was the case pre-2009. This means a pay rise of around 44%, bringing total salary to ISK 1,101,194 (approx. €8,900) per month.
Also in line for big bonuses are government ministers, whose wages are to be brought in line with those of Supreme Court judges. Saturday’s ruling means their monthly pay goes up over 35% to ISK 1,826,273 (approx. €14,800).
Iceland’s new Prime Minister – whoever that will be – will pocket a total of ISK 2,021,825 (approx. €16,350), while the President will continue to be the highest paid Icelander whose pay is decided by the NRB. The President’s salary is going up by around 20% to ISK 2,985,000 (approx. €24,200) per month.
“These increases must set the tone when we review the basis for general pay increases in February,” says union leader Kristján Gunnarsson. “People working in hospitals, for example, receive a total wage which is much lower that these increases decided upon by the NRB.”
For instance, the President’s wage has been raised by around ISK 500,000 – which is more or less the total average wage across Icelandic workers as a whole.
“People will be asking: is there no money for us too?” says Gunnarsson.