Iceland MPs will be allowed to earn less

reykjavik_althing1The Icelandic parliament has passed a bill that will force the Senior Civil Servants Salary Board of Iceland (Kjararad) to lower the wages of MPs and other high ranking officials.

The board had originally rejected parliament’s request, on the grounds that lowering elected officials’ salaries by 5-15 percent would be illegal – even though they themselves asked for it.

Below is the IceNews article on the original decision:

The Senior Civil Servants Salary Board of Iceland (Kjararad) has rejected the government’s request for a reduction in the salaries of public officials in Iceland of 5-15 percent. The request was made due to the country’s economic crisis.

The idea was embraced early-on by the president, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, but the Board already ruled last week that cutting the president’s pay would be illegal.

The Board’s decision states that with unchanged legal conditions it would not be possible to carry out the request for other elected officials without also breaking the law. This information came from a press conference held on the subject this morning by Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde and Foreign Minister Ingibjorg Solrun Gisladottir, Visir.is reports.

Haarde said on the issue that the government has decided the pay cut is going to happen, and that will not be changed by the Salary Board’s decision. “We’ll just have to find another way,” he said.