Proposal to Help Unemployed Move Criticized Skip to content

Proposal to Help Unemployed Move Criticized

By Iceland Review

The Unemployment Insurance Fund recently submitted a highly controversial proposal regarding supporting unemployed individuals with up to ISK 200,000 (USD 3,200, EUR 2,300) to move with their families to a different place with better job opportunities.

“The situation has become rather serious when people are being encouraged to move away from regions that are already suffering heavily because of the cut in the fishing quota,” Adalsteinn Árni Baldursson, head of the Labor Union of Húsavík, northeast Iceland, told Morgunbladid.

Baldursson claimed there were only job opportunities in two locations in Iceland: in the capital region and in east Iceland. “This contributes to the escape from the countryside to Reykjavík. […] Many things can be done to strengthen the towns in this country, but this is a sign of giving up.”

Baldursson suggested that instead of moving people away, civil service jobs could be moved to the countryside and fish should be processed in towns that already have the required technology and expertise instead of in places that lack staff rather than jobs.

Halldór Halldórsson, Mayor of Ísafjördur in the West Fjords and head of the Association of Local Authorities in Iceland, agrees. “The counter measurements [to soften the blow of the quota cut] were designed to enable people to continue living in their hometowns by creating new jobs there and strengthen the countryside.”

“These are in fact counter measurements to the counter measurements which will move people into regions that are already experiencing expansion,” Halldórsson said. “And not only that, they are being paid for moving.”

Minister of Social Welfare Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir could not be reached yesterday in relation to this article.

Click here to read more about the quota cut.

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