Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde has submitted a letter to the wage council which handles salaries for officials and requested a five to 15 percent decrease in salaries for everyone whose wages are decided by the council, including himself and other ministers.
Chairman of the wage council Gudrún Zoëga confirmed that the letter had been received on Friday. The wage council will discuss the matter this week and it might take a few days or weeks to handle the request, Morgunbladid reports.
The government has also proposed a bill on changes to controversial retirement regulations for MPs, ministers and judges of the Supreme Court as announced by Prime Minister Haarde and Foreign Minister Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir in a press conference on Friday.
According to the bill, the minimum age of retirement for these groups will be increased from 55 to 60. The earning of rights among MPs will be lowered from 3.0 percent to 2.375 percent for every year in office and among judges to the Supreme Court from 6.0 percent to 4.0 percent.
It will also be impossible to accept retirement benefits and salaries from the state at the same time. A special provision on prime ministerial retirement benefits will be canceled, so the same rights will from now on apply to all ministers.
Opinion was divided on the changes to retirement regulations amongst opposition leaders.
Chairman of the Progressive Party Valgerdur Sverrisdóttir told RÚV that although the changes were an improvement, they were not significant enough compared to how much the Social Democrats, of which Foreign Minister Gísladóttir is chairman, had criticized the regulations when they were established in 2003.
Copyright of photo of Prime Minister Haarde: Icelandic Photo Agency.