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To spy or not to spy?

This is the time of year when the Icelandic tax office makes public the tax records of every single Icelander in the country.

Think I’m joking?

I’m not. At this time every year, the taxman has finished going over all the income tax statements filed in the spring, and has sent out his verdict. And then, when a letter has gone out to every taxpayer as to whether the statement was correct or not, the taxman opens his books for a full two weeks and invites anyone who wants to come and have a look.

It doesn’t actually state black-on-white how much you’ve made, but with a brief bit of calculating it’s pretty easy to figure out. Among the first to arrive are mathematicians employed by a certain publisher in town, who quickly work the figures and before you can say ‘getyernoseoutofmybusiness‘ they’ve published a special issue detailing the wages of around 1,000 prominent members of the community.

Inevitably, a discussion arises each year as to whether this should be allowed. Some maintain that it’s a good thing, part of living in an egalitarian society, and does a good job of highlighting the wage gap between men and women, rich and poor, for instance. The nay-sayers are usually more heated in their arguments, calling this a ‘completely outdated practice’, an attack on people’s privacy, serving no purpose whatsoever except for feeding people’s morbid curiosity, and should be abolished as early as yesterday.

I should be interested, dear Weather Report readers, to hear your views. I’ve never heard of this being done in any other country and suspect that were it to be taken up elsewhere that there would be a flurry of outrage. What do you think?

IT HAS BEEN A DAY OF CLOUDBURSTING…
With sunny spells in between. Mild, though, and this evening when EPI and I went for a walk out by the lighthouse the sunset was spectacular, highlighting my very favourite glacier in the whole world. Current temps are 13°C and oh! What do I see when I check the mbl.is website! Airplane hit by lightning when landing in Toronto [my old hometown], body of plane cracked in two and caught on fire, and yet nobody seriously injured! What an amazing stroke of providence, my God! Daybreak: 03.11, nightfall: 23.52. [Like, now.]

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