Possible actions to solve the financial problems of households in Iceland were discussed at a meeting between government representatives and associations of wage earners and employers on Wednesday. The presentation of a new action plan is scheduled for September 24.
Central Reykjavík. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
According to Morgunbladid’s sources, wage-related down payments of mortgages, similar to the down payments of student loans, are among ideas that were discussed at the meeting. President of the Icelandic Confederation of Labor (ASÍ) Gylfi Arnbjörnsson told Morgunbladid that discussions will continue this week.
“Let’s say that people are looking into actions on a more general basis than those that have already been undertaken,” said Minister of Finance Steingrímur J. Sigfússon when asked whether more radical actions can be expected, emphasizing, however, that such actions must be in touch with reality.
Another idea that has been discussed is that a limit should be placed on the period of time that mortgages, especially in foreign currency, can be extended due to check clearing, and that any amounts exceeding that limit would be written off to prevent people from being indebted their entire lives.
Sources from within the cabinet say that all ideas are discussed on the basis that they won’t lead to increased expenses of the state treasury.
Arnbjörnsson said it is important that any new actions taken must ensure equality between households and that they apply to all, regardless of where the mortgages were granted.
Click here to read more about indebted households in Iceland.