ASÍ welcomes positive steps in housing issues alongside collective agreements

The Icelandic Confederation of Labor (ASÍ) has summarized on its website the main issues related to the measures introduced by the government in connection with the signing of collective agreements in the general labor market. ASÍ welcomes the action plan, especially the fact that positive steps will be taken in housing matters. Unfortunately, the article on ASÍ’s website is only in Icelandic.

The government’s action plan is intended to support the goals of the parties to the collective agreement, Efling Union, SGS, and Samiðn, with the Confederation of Employers (SA). Those goals are to increase purchasing power, lower inflation, and lower interest rates. The government’s measures should support families with children and respond to difficult conditions in the housing market.

As for the housing part of the government’s action plan, 7-9 billion will be proposed for the continued development of the public housing system, which will support the development of around 1,000 apartments per year. Within the public housing system, there is, among others, Bjarg Housing Association, owned by ASÍ and BSRB.

Housing benefits will also increase according to the government’s plan and the basic amount will increase by 25%

In ASÍ’s article, there are examples of benefits from the collective agreement and the government’s planned actions. It states that the direct benefits of the government’s actions can be uneven for various groups and that the reduction in inflation and interest rates will create enormous benefits for society. The direct support is aimed more at families with children, renters, and those struggling with high-interest rates.

An example is shown of a single parent with two children and 750 thousand ISK per month in income, and it is calculated that the benefit of that parent will be almost 56 thousand ISK per month, with a wage increase, an increase in housing benefit, child benefit and the fact that school meals will be made free of charge. For a married couple with three children and a joint income of 1.4 million ISK per month, the benefit will be just over 100 thousand ISK per month.

This year, a total of seven billion ISK will be paid in special interest support to households due to the high interest burden, compared to last year’s interest charges. The maximum of this special interest support will be ISK 150,000. for an individual, 200,000 for single parents, and 250,000 for cohabitants, considering reductions due to income and assets.

A further explanation of the benefits included in the collective agreements and the government’s proposed actions can be seen here, in Icelandic, on ASÍ’s website.