The government’s budget plan for the next five years was passed in Alþingi, the Icelandic parliament, around two o’clock this morning with 32 votes in favor and 31 votes against, RÚV reports. Pirate Party MP Björn Levi Gunnarsson’s petition to refer the proposal back to the government was denied by 32 votes against 31.
Opposition parties gave the plan complete disapproval, stating it did not meet the election promises of the governing parties. Svandís Svavarsdóttir, chairperson of the party group of the Left Green Movement, said the budget was nothing less than an election betrayal.
“There is no sense, Madam Speaker, in approving this budget. The only sensible thing is to reject it, because it doesn’t hold water for our community and is not even internally consistent,” stated Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Left Green’s chairperson, in the debate last night.
“We members of the Progressive Party propose the government now take sides with us, the minority, and take that into account and review this” stated Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson, chairperson of the Progressive Party.
Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson spoke of the budget in the following terms: “We are reducing government debt, preparing for the future, adding funds in all areas, and there should be no dispute here in parliament that we’re now going through a phase of development.”
The parliamentary session ended following the vote. It begins again at 11:00 am to discuss the minister of justice’s proposals for the appointment of judges in Landsréttur, a new court, which will add a new judicial level to the Icelandic court system.