Minister of Finance Bjarni Benediktsson met with the Icelandic parliament Alþingi’s Budget Committee yesterday to discuss the situation of the state treasury. To counter the expected deficit of ISK 30 billion (USD 243 million, EUR 186 million) this year and next, the government is calling for cutbacks of 1.5 percent at every ministry.
Bjarni Benediktsson. Photo: Páll Kjartansson/Iceland Review.
“We have made a 1.5 percent restraint demand and then it is up to each ministry to prioritize,” Bjarni told ruv.is. Among measures to be considered is the cancelation of expenses that have yet to be made, along with some projects that have yet to be executed, he added.
The funding plan of the previous government includes expenses for education and culture, such as for research and technology development, the creative industries and education and culture centers.
Minister of Education and Culture Illugi Gunnarsson stated cutbacks have to be made with care and that other items of the funding plan must also be considered.
Bjarni is hoping that the ministries will submit their proposals for cutbacks in the coming days. The next budget bill is scheduled for completion in the second week of September.