Maltese church’s growing salary bill puts archdiocese in deficit

Salaries for Maltese church’s 1,200 employees climb to €25.7 million as government steps in to finance homes for the elderly through PPP

Archbishop Charles Scicluna greeting well-wishers during the Christmas season
Archbishop Charles Scicluna greeting well-wishers during the Christmas season

The Maltese archdiocese has registered a marginal deficit of €137,000 in its operations in 2018, down from a surplus of €370,000 the previous year.

The archdiocese employs over 1,200 people, which in 2018 resulted in an increase of €3.41 million in salaries to €25.7 million as a result of more full-time employees, primarily in homes for persons with disability, in the Sacred Heart and Seminary schools, and in the Archbishop’s Curia.

A total of €4 million was spent on capital projects that include conservation and restoration of ecclesiastical heritage. Donations, mostly by parishes, towards charitable action for people in need reached €562,000. The annual tax charge of the Archdiocese amounts to €1.38 million, an increase of €267,000 from the previous year.

The income for 2018 increased by €2.2 million to €41 million, mainly from €10 million in government contributions, €9 million in collections and donations, €7.1 million in investment income, and €6 million in fees from residents in homes for the elderly.

The Archbishop’s Curia itself registered a deficit of €1.38 million following the distribution of subsidies of nearly a million euro to Church entities. The Curia’s income decreased from €8.9 million to €7.5 million, and saw remuneration to lay employees increase from €1.7 million to €2 million.

The subsidies given by the Curia to the homes of the elderly in which 353 people reside, doubled to a total of €436,000. This was due to the increase in operations and capital investment in these homes. Subsidies were also given to the children’s homes of the Church run by Fondazzjoni Sebħ, that provide accommodation and therapy to 60 children and 15 adults including victims of domestic violence. For the first time ever, a subsidy was given to the Cana Movement.

On the other hand, the Archdiocese registered a decrease in subsidies given to the Church media services and to the Foundation for Theological Studies.

 The income of the Curia decreased by €1.46 million notwithstanding the increased income from investments owing to the higher dividend from APS Bank, that impacted the tax charge.

Administrative Secretary Michael Pace Ross announced that with effect from 1 January 2019, a new agreement with the government to finance the operations of the homes for the elderly.

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