Millions to be Spent on Measures to Counter Quota Cut Skip to content

Millions to be Spent on Measures to Counter Quota Cut

Iceland’s government decided at a meeting yesterday at the Culture House, Reykjavík, to allocate ISK 10.5 millions (USD 162,000, EUR 117,000) towards measures to counter the drastic cut in the cod quota fishing allowances.

“These are the most potent counter measures any administration has taken in response to difficulties in the Icelandic economy,” Minister of Industry Össur Skarphédinsson said when introducing the scheme yesterday, Morgunbladid reports. “Not everyone will be happy, but with these measures we are strengthening the infrastructure of the municipalities considerably.”

Minister of Social Welfare Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir, Minister of Education Thorgerdur Katrín Gunnarsdóttir and Minister of Finance Árni Mathiesen also introduced the counter measures yesterday.

Mathiesen said it has not been decided what exactly the funding will be used for, but that it is meant to be used for supporting municipalities, fish processing plants and their employees, reports.

According to a research undertaken by the Institute of Regional Development in cooperation with development agencies outside the capital region and representatives of fishing companies, it is unlikely that unemployment will increase considerably in the next few months, neither among fishermen nor fish-processing workers.

As soon as people start losing their jobs, the government will create new jobs working with the infrastructure of transport and telecommunications systems, the preservation of public buildings and data entry.

The government will also offer people who lose their jobs various opportunities in education to improve their standing in the labor market.

“I think there are many good things about this scheme, but companies will continue to express their concerns,” Mayor of Ísafjördur in the West Fjords, Halldór Halldórsson, told Morgunbladid.

Fridrik J. Arngrímsson, managing director of the Federation of Icelandic Fishing Vessel Owners (LÍÚ) said the scheme did not include dismissing fishing tariffs nor and end to treating ship owners differently, which is of great importance in his opinion. “I think it is odd to have more taxes in the fishing industry than other industries, especially in hard times like these.”

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