From Iceland — Ministries May Combine

Ministries May Combine

Published December 1, 2010

The Prime Minister told parliament yesterday that “it is not unlikely” that more ministries are combined together, further reducing the size of government.
Earlier this year, there were tentative plans to merge the ministries of fishing, agriculture and industry into one Ministry of Employment; merge the ministries of health and social affairs into one Ministry of Welfare; and merge the ministries of justice and transportation into one Ministry of the Interior.
The purpose of combining these institutions was to save millions in government expenditures. As can be seen, not all of these changes happened.
Most of the opposition to the merge actually came from within the government. Jón Bjarnason, the current Minister of Fishing and Agriculture, has strongly objected to the formation of a Ministry of Employment. In fact, almost none of the proposed changes to save money have actually occurred.
Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, speaking in parliament yesterday, spoke again of a Ministry of Employment, as well as a Ministry for the Environment and Natural Resources. The two are related, as the latter would serve in an advisory capacity to the former, so that employment development can occur with greater consideration to the environment.
The proposed merger, if it does happen, is tentatively scheduled for this March.

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