Iceland’s Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde and Minister of Commerce Björgvin G. Sigurdsson will take a private jet to Sweden today, like Haarde did when he flew to the NATO meeting in Romania last week. This mode of transport has been criticized.
“I believe these fine people who serve as ministers should share the wages with the public and not with the jet set,” said MP for the Left Greens Álfheidur Ingadóttir. The cost of renting a private airplane is estimated nearly ISK one million (USD 13,000, EUR 8,600) higher than taking a scheduled flight, Fréttabladid reports.
“At the same time that people are encouraging the nation to tighten its belt because of the economy […], ministers choose this mode of transport which until now has characterized only nouveau-riche Icelanders,” Ingadóttir added.
Ingadóttir said the main problem with using a private plane is the environmental cost. “It is clear that from an environmental standpoint it is always more expensive [than taking a scheduled flight].”
A statement from the Prime Minister’s office says a private jet allows the ministers to save up to two working days that would otherwise be wasted on traveling.