Iceland complained IMF report was inaccurate

15.04.2021 - 14:02
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An International Monetary Fund report into state support during the coronavirus pandemic earlier this week put Iceland in the lowest category alongside the countries that have invested the least public money in supporting homes and businesses. The Icelandic government asked for data to be re-examined and the IMF has now changed its report.

The IMF now states that the Icelandic authorities’ support packages are worth 9.2 percent of GDP rather than the 2.1 percent stated in the initial report that raised many eyebrows in government and prompted a formal request for clarification from the international body.

The IMF colour coded countries based on the level of support they have provided during the crisis and Iceland therefore changes from red to green. The level of support provided in Iceland is the highest in the Nordic region and similar to that in Denmark, Belgium, and France. The original report ranked Iceland alongside Turkey, Albania, Belarus, Montenegro, Bosnia Herzegovina, and Moldova. 

The huge difference between the two drafts of the report is because the former looked only at 2020 and not 2021 as well, and only counted several support actions taken; such as top-up benefits and payments within the health service. 

The original report did not take into account the reduction or postponement of various taxes and charges—especially within the tourism sector. The State has also acted as guarantor on support loans to companies that the IMF did not take into account to start with. 

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