The Nordic Welfare Model No Longer a Part of Icelandic Reality

Harpa Njálsdóttir has been analysing the Icelandic welfare system and its development for the past ten years says that Iceland is no longer following the Nordic welfare model. This is reported by

The Nordic welfare model is a system based on universal rights, where everyone can get the same basic service regardless of social status, from housing to health care. Harpa says that today the Icelandic welfare system has more in common with liberal politics and conditional assistance. “Politicians keep saying we follow the Nordic welfare system,” Harpa said. “It means, for example, that everyone has the right of basic pension from social security.”


Conditional assistance means that all service should be minimum, welfare and healthcare is dependent on income, very low taxes and pushes people to look for assistance from charitable organisations instead of the government.

Harpa adds that about 70% of pensioners have pensions under the national norm for the cost of living and 70% of those are women. Majority of people who work in low paying jobs such as at kindergartens, grammar schools, pensioners homes or other similar jobs are women, which means they pay less to the pension fund which in return means they get very low pensions.