Bjarni Benediktsson minister of finance did not answer directly when asked by Rúv if he knew beforehand that prime minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson. He only said that he and the prime minister were working closely together towards lifting the capital controls. He said work was ongoing to prepare Bill, expected before summer, but was not firm on a date.
He reiterated that the estates were a threat to stability and stability tax – not a concept heard until mentioned by the prime minister on Friday – was intended to do just that: preserve stability when it came to lifting capital controls. He did not want to answer exactly who would pay this tax or how but the tax would help authorities to control the process of lifting the controls. He also repeated what the prime minister said, that the estates had not put forward any useful plan for lifting controls.
The winding-up boards of the estates will no doubt beg to differ: they have put forth plans, which have not been answered.
At an open committee meeting on Monday governor of the Central Bank of Iceland Már Guðmundsson was asked about the tax. He said it could be compared to “pollution tax” – the estates were like a source of pollution within the economy and the tax was to mitigate the effect of this pollution. What exactly this Delphic utterance meant in practice he would not say.
For more on this issue see the two most recent blogs here below.
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