Iceland is the OECD’s smallest economy and,currently,the fastest growing. A booming financial services and construction led to a deep financial crisis in 2008. However, Iceland has made a remarkable turnaround, helped by spectacular growth of tourism, prudent economic policies and a favourable external environment.
Iceland is the OECD's fastest growing economy. It has made a remarkable turnaround from the crisis, helped by booming tourism, prudent economic policies and a favourable external environment. Iceland has an egalitarian society with strong trade unions, very low inequality and high gender balance. Nevertheless, as a very small open economy Iceland is prone to boom and bust cycles. Prudent fiscal and monetary policy are warranted in the current economic boom.
The spectacular growth in tourist numbers has provided new jobs, boosted tax revenues and attracted currency inflows, but there are some growing pains with social pressures emerging. Growing tourist numbers are putting pressure on the environment, infrastructure and housing. Furthermore, the strengthening króna has created difficulties for other internationally-exposed sectors.
Iceland is the most highly unionised OECD country and the wage-bargaining system has contributed to high living standards and an inclusive society. Nevertheless, recent disruptive strikes and high wage awards have intensified inflationary pressures and threaten competiveness. Fostering trust among the social partners and increasing wage coordination would make collective bargaining more effective and help sustain the benefits of the system for future generations.
SPECIAL FEATURES: SUSTAINABLE TOURISM; EFFECTIVE LABOUR RELATIONS
This review assesses the performance of Iceland, including looking at how Iceland works in its three partner countries and on key priority issues such as gender, health, education and renewable energy.
Iceland joined the Development Assistance Committee in 2013. This is its first peer review.
The tax burden on labour income is expressed by the tax wedge, which is a measure of the net tax burden on labour income borne by the employee and the employer.
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Iceland had the 23rd lowest tax wedge among the 35 OECD member countries in 2016. The country occupied the same position in 2015. The average single worker in Iceland faced a tax wedge of 34.0% in 2016 compared with the OECD average of 36.0%.
These country specific notes provide figures and commentary from the Taxation and Skills publication that examines how tax policy can encourage skills development in OECD countries.
As part of the STI Outlook 2016, the OECD has released policy profiles by country. These include cross-country analyses that draw on the first joint EC-OECD survey on STI policies. They focus on major STI policy areas, instruments and trends.
This annual publication presents detailed country notes and internationally comparable tax data for all OECD countries from 1965 onwards.
This publication provides detailed country notes on Value Added Tax/Goods and Services Tax (VAT/GST) and excise duty rates in OECD member countries.
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This country note provides an environmental tax and carbon pricing profile for Iceland. It shows environmentally related tax revenues, taxes on energy use and effective carbon rates.