Iceland ranks number 6 is a survey of disposable income among European countries. According to the survey, Icelanders generate ISK 1.8 million (USD 30,000, EUR 20,000) in disposable income on average per capita per year, lowering the nation down one place since last year. Switzerland and Lichtenstein rank highest.
The survey was undertaken by the German market research company GfK GeoMarketing and the results were published yesterday, 24 stundir reports.
“These results are good,” said Skúli Thoroddsen, general manager of the Federation of General and Special Workers in Iceland (SGS), “but […] it says nothing about the situation of those who have the lowest wages.”
“The pie is not sliced evenly, and behind these high salaries in Iceland are long working hours, one quarter longer than in the other Nordic countries,” Thoroddsen added. “We also have the highest food prices in Europe and other necessities are also much more expensive here than in other countries.”
Thoroddsen claimed that the taxation system in the other Nordic countries is used to even out personal revenue, while in Iceland it is used to favor those who have the highest salaries. “Our goal in the upcoming wage agreements is to correct the inequality and make sure the taxation system serves the right purpose.”
Cornelia Richter, a spokesperson for GfK, told 24 stundir that different costs of living had not been taken into account when conducting the survey, adding that a rule of thumb says that after housing costs and other regular expenses have been paid, one third of the disposable income remains.
Ireland, which is currently in fourth place, according to GfK’s survey, has surpassed both Iceland and Denmark since last year. Salaries in Ireland have rapidly increased while taxes remain rather low.
Luxembourg ranks number 2, Norway is in the third place and Denmark is number 5 on the list. Moldavia ranks lowest with only ISK 60,000 (USD 999, EUR 681) in average annual disposable income per capita, one-thirtieth of what the average Icelander can spend in one year.