People with disabilities will receive additional financial support from the government in December, the Budget Committee has decided. The support is a tax-free one-time payment of 53,000 ISK [€357, $403]. The total cost of the measures is 1,2 billion ISK [€ 8 million, $9.1 million].
The proposal came from the opposition, whose members argued that disabled people were still experiencing financial hardship due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Last year, disabled people received additional financial support for the same reasons.
The proposal met some opposition from the leaders of the government. Bjarni Benediktsson, Iceland’s Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs said in an interview with RÚV that he believed that bonuses and other “pleasant surprises” should not be embedded in the benefits system in Iceland.
However, Þuríður Harpa Sigurðardóttir, the Chairperson of the Icelandic Disability Alliance, had stressed that the state of the pandemic had not improved and was still impacting disabled people in much the same way as last year. It would therefore be imperative to improve the financial situation of these people.
Kristrún Frostadóttir, an MP for Samfylkingin and a member of the Budget Committee said in an interview with RÚV that she was very pleased with the proposal being accepted.
“This group of people is very susceptible to changes in society. Tougher economic conditions and higher prices will affect these people.”