National Church Rejects Budget Cut, Makes Counter-Offer — The Reykjavik Grapevine

National Church Rejects Budget Cut, Makes Counter-Offer

Published August 9, 2010

The National Church of Iceland has rejected a government proposal to cut their budget by 9%, offering instead to have their budget cut by 5%, with certain conditions.
Vísir reports that during a church meeting over the weekend, the church maintained that the church is an “independent body” and that “the financial foundation between the church and the government cannot be changed without a contract approved by both the national church and parliament”. They offer instead to take a 5% budget cut.
In the meantime, the Bishop of Iceland receives a salary of about 960,000 ISK per month, his secretary makes over 700,000 ISK per month, and the priest at the above-shown Hallgrímskirkja takes home about the same.
The reaction from the church has sparked outrage from many Icelanders, with many in the blogging community calling for the immediate separation of church and state. Many cite the fact that everyone has been asked to make sacrifices in these hard economic times, and the social welfare system has had to accept a drop in its budget, too.
A government response to the church’s proposal is still pending.

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