First Details of 2016 Budget Emerge Skip to content

First Details of 2016 Budget Emerge

Healthcare funding in Iceland is expected to grow in excess of inflation and cost increases next year, according to advance information on preparations for the government’s 2016 budget.

Vísir reports the government plans to lay particular emphasis on increasing funding to local healthcare centers and general practice.

The Ministry of Finance is currently working hard on next year’s budget bill, which is traditionally the final bill passed before parliament goes on its Christmas break. Finance minister Bjarni Benediktsson will deliver the first draft of the bill in September and although some items of its likely content are known, much of the bill has not yet been discussed publicly.

Among the items already made public are the removal of import duty on clothes and shoes from January 1, 2016. There will be changes to the income tax system, whereby tax on the lowest grade will be dropped from 22.86 percent to 22.68 percent. The middle tax grade will also be cut at the beginning of next year, before being scrapped altogether at the end of 2016. Workers’ tax-free limit will increase in line with increasing costs and housing support will go up in order to help people least able to deal with very high rents and house prices.

One of the biggest talking points of any Icelandic budget is healthcare funding. It is expected that health spending will increase significantly next year—not least because of staff pay increases. Unnamed sources say that despite the large cost increases, there will be no cuts to healthcare—with the opposite expected to be true: a real-term increase in funding over and above increased costs.

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