Families First

Samfylkingin wants to improve living conditions of families, disabled people and senior citizens.

A Better Life for You and Your Family

Samfylkingin wants to restore the welfare system, making it work more in favour of families with children, make system-wide changes to the housing market and improve conditions for senior citizens and people with disabilities, who have fallen significantly behind other social groups in recent years.

Greatly increased support for families with children 

We intend to increase child benefits and start paying them out monthly, instead of triannually, so they can be used more efficiently. As full benefits will be available to all families with an average income or less, more people receive child benefits than before. That way, we can rebuild the support system for Icelandic families. This will make a difference for most households.

What is Samfylkingin going to do?

  • Pay full child benefits for all children who have parents with up to an average income (ca. ISK 1,200 per month for a couple or ISK 600,000 for a single parent) so that an average family with two children, that doesn’t receive any child benefits now, will receive ISK 54,000 each month.
  • Increase maximum payments during paternal leave in accordance with wage developments and work with municipalities on bridging the gap between parental leave and preschool. Increase parental grants for students and non-employed parents up to the Ministry of Social Affairs’ estimation of average living expenses.
  • In Iceland, families with an average income and two children receive no child benefits, while in other Nordic countries, the same family would receive the equivalent of up to ISK 50,000 per month. In Iceland, support for each child in proportion to GDP has decreased by more than half.

A Healthy Housing Market

We intend to initiate a fundamental change in housing policy to create a healthy housing market for the long term. We believe that the solution is to provide much higher contributions to build affordable housing. This will decrease fluctuations and negative effects on price levels and interest rates. Families have the right to secure housing whether they are homeowners or on the rental market. Housing costs are the largest item of expenditure for most households, and price fluctuations in the real estate market, great fluctuations in interest rates and unpredictable rent create insecurity and increase inequality and poverty.

What is Samfylkingin going to do?

  • Build 1,000 rental apartments and housing cooperatives each year in collaboration with non-profit housing associations, which would account for a third of the annual construction volume. This calls for a doubling of capital contributions. By doing so, we will increase the number of apartments all over the country for lower income groups and establish more moderate prices for everyone. This should result in lower rental costs.
  • Support research and innovation in housing development in order to reduce construction costs and develop new green residential communities.
  • Focus especially on ensuring the supply of apartments for young people and housing centres for senior citizens.
  • Move housing and construction issues under one ministry that will oversee and be responsible for development across the country.
  • We want to provide much more direct support for construction of apartments. This is the best way to increase supply and temper housing prices for everyone. The authorities must establish a solid base on which the housing market can operate. This is a long-term project that Samfylkingin is ready to lead in collaboration with the labour movement and non-profit housing associations. 

Better Conditions for Senior Citizens and Disabled People

We intend to greatly improve conditions for senior citizens and disabled people by increasing payments in stages, starting immediately. Living standards for senior citizens and people with disabilities have fallen far behind others in recent years, and social security payments in Iceland are curtailed to an extent unknown in the rest of the world. This must be changed, and Samfylkingin wants to do so by taking major steps as soon as next autumn. Samfylkingin wants a comprehensive overhaul of social security during the next electoral term. Our goal is that pensions will not be lower than the minimum wage, that the maximum income level for pension payments will be quadrupled, up to ISK 100,000, and the maximum income level for wages tripled, up to ISK 300,000.

What is Samfylkingin going to do right away?

  • Immediately increase social security payments in accordance with the increase in collective wage agreements, ISK 25,000 per month, and halt the widening disparity in living conditions seen in recent years.
  • Increase the maximum income level of wages for people with disabilities, which has not changed since 2010, from ISK 110,000 per month to ISK 200,000.
  • Double the maximum income level of pension payments to senior citizens, from ISK 25,000 per month to ISK 50,000.
  • Increase the maximum income level of wages for senior citizens to ISK 200,000.