The Ministry of Finance will deliver this year 267.83 million euros to the Spanish Episcopal Conference (CEE) as liquidation of the allocations made in the fiscal year of 2017 by Catholic taxpayers who marked the X of the Catholic Church in the corresponding Personal Income Tax box (IRPF). It is a final settlement. 70% of that sum was already advanced by the Treasury in twelve months in a current account of the EEC, which in turn distributed it among the dioceses for the salaries of bishops and priests and for different religious services. They are 11.6 million more than last year and the figure higher since the socialist government presided over by José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero raised in 2007 by 37%, to 0.7, the tax quota for that religious purpose.
None of these amounts is included in the draft Budget Law Generals of the State that the Executive has just presented. The reason is that they are not considered expenses, but a "reduction of income". It is the novelty of the practice of previous decades, in which the amounts paid on account to the Episcopal Conference were fixed in an additional budgetary provision, pending the finalization of the total subsidies.
By Autonomous Communities are Madrid, Andalusia and the Valencian Community which contribute the most, with percentages of declarations in favor of the Roman Church over 40%, and even over 45%, such as Castilla la Mancha (46.09%), La Rioja (45.62%) and Extremadura (45.09%). In Murcia they are 44.57% of the declarations. In contrast, Catalonia barely exceeds 18% of Catholic respondents, one point less than in the previous year. They are almost 15 points below the national average. The provinces with the highest percentage are Ciudad Real (52.58%), Badajoz (48.45%) and Jaén (47.76%). In Barcelona it is 18.1%. In the Basque Country, the province with the lowest percentage of respondents is Guipúzcoa with 20.1%. Vizcaya rises to 30.13%.
For years, the episcopal spokesman insisted that his Church did not figure in the State Budget. Each exercise denied an additional provision of the main economic law. Now you can affirm it. The Catholic Church has a box with its name on the IRPF forms and is the only religion with that privilege, but it is no longer included in the Budget laws. Yes, however, subsidies to NGOs (the X for other social purposes), and also those assigned "for operating expenses of political parties". They are 52.7 million euros ", plus another 2.7" for security expenses ", that is, five times less than that received by the Catholic hierarchy.
All this was decided in an additional provision, the forty-sixth, of the Budget Law for 2017. It said: "With effect from the year 2016 and indefinitely, the delivery to monthly account referred to in section Three of the Additional eighteenth provision of Law 42/2006, of December 28, of General Budgets of the State for the year 2007, will amount to one twelfth of seventy percent of the last final liquidation practiced of the tax allocation system at the beginning of the year " .
With this provision, the Catholic Church disappears from the Budget laws although each year receives more money from the State, without Catholics from their pocket or a euro. The advertising issued by the EEC tells the faithful to mark the X in their favor, and repeated by the statement that on Tuesday the figures were announced last year by the Deputy Secretary for Economic Affairs directed by Fernando Giménez Barriocanal.