Socialist City Councillor Takes Wage Cut to Support Fund for Organisers

City Councillor Sanna Magdalena Mörtudóttir

Socialist City Councillor Sanna Magdalena Mörtudóttir has decided to take a monthly pay cut of ISK 158,000 ($1,280/€1,133) and redirect that money to the party’s newly established Maístjarna fund, Kjarninn reports. The fund is intended to empower “those who are worst off” to organise and operate lobbying groups that will work for their interests.

The Socialist Party is using funds received from the City of Reykjavík – around ISK 900,000 ($7,295/ €6,454) – to establish the fund and will supplement these with individual contributions as well as the additional income from Sanna’s voluntary pay cut. According to the announcement on the Socialists’ website, the fund “will work to bolster and strengthen the voices of those who are worst off and assist them in presenting their demands and urging that the country of the future be shaped in the interests of the people.”

Even with the pay cut, Sanna’s monthly salary before taxes is, she notes, 2.5 times the minimum wage. According to data published by Statistics Iceland in August, Icelanders’ average total monthly income—including non-wage, physical or financial assets – was ISK 534,000 ($4,328/ €3,830) before taxes, which are 36.94% for individuals whose monthly income is less than ISK 893.713 ($7,243/€6,410).

“I think we should set a limit on the highest salaries in society – on how much higher they can be than the minimum wage” Sanna remarked. “I think three times the minimum wage is the absolute outer limit, for example, for the mayor and so I’m setting my salary a step below that.”

The first initiative to be funded by the Maístjarna was the demonstration at Austurvöllur square on December 1, in protest of the MPs involved in the Klaustur Scandal. Expenses for the protest came to ISK 140,000 ($1,134/€1,004). An independent group of protesters raised ISK 106,000 ($859/€760) for the event, and the remaining ISK 34,000 ($275/€243) will be subsidised by the Maístjarna.

Sanna is encouraging Socialists who are able to donate to the fund to follow her lead and do so. “The most important step in the direction of a just society is that those who are suffering most under the injustice of capitalism to be able to organise, create solidarity among themselves, and develop tactics to fight for their interests.”

Twenty-Six Receive Icelandic Citizenship

iceland parliament

Alþingi’s Judicial Affairs and Education Committee has submitted a bill to approve citizenship for 26 individuals, RÚV reports. These individuals were among the 220 people who petitioned for citizenship “by legislation,” or direct parliamentary appeal, during the 2018 fall session of Alþingi.

The new Icelandic citizens hail from all over the world. Four are from Syria, three are from Afghanistan. Two new citizens are from the Czech Republic, Ethiopia, Germany, Poland, and Vietnam each. Lastly, there is one new citizen from each of the following countries: Armenia, Lithuania, Mali, Nigeria, Portugal, The Philippines, Thailand, Ukraine, and the US.

The youngest person to receive Icelandic citizenship this time is a twelve-year-old girl; the oldest is 82. Both of these new Icelanders are originally from Syria.