"Future Today" is the name of the Archdiocese of Cologne's comprehensive savings program, with which the church intends to cut expenses by about 70 million euros by 2007. Since the beginning of the austerity measures, not only the parishes have had to suffer from the need to save money, but also daycare centers, archdiocesan schools and other church-run institutions.
"Future Today" is the name of the Archdiocese of Cologne's comprehensive savings program, with which the church wants to cut expenses by about 70 million euros by 2007. Since the austerity measures began, not only parishes have had to suffer from the need to save money, but also daycare centers, archdiocesan schools and other institutions run by the church. Tobias Fricke wanted to know whether the whole thing was having an effect, and he talked to the vicar general of Cologne, Dr. Dominik Schwaderlapp entertained. He believes that he will be able to present a balanced budget by 2007, but regrets the painful cuts: "It is simply painful when a kindergarten is transferred to another sponsorship, or a parish hall is given up. It is just as difficult when there are change notices for sextons or secretarial staff, Schwaderlapp said. 2006: Slight increase in church tax revenue The head of administration said that there were signs of an improvement in church tax revenues this year because the economy had recovered somewhat. He anticipates a 0.75 percent increase in church taxes. The budget deficit is to be limited to 20 million euros. Nevertheless, the savings plan will not be scaled back, Schwaderlapp said. "We expect to lose about one percent of Catholics per year and an even higher percentage of church taxpayers due to the unfavorable age pyramid". The additional revenues could not compensate for that. The archdiocese's church tax revenues fell by 90 million euros, or 18 percent, from 2003 to 2005. It ended the 2005 fiscal year with a 46 million deficit, as planned. The gap was made up by reserves. With the savings measures from "Future Today", which affect parishes, schools, kindergartens and other church institutions, the archdiocese wants to reduce the annual budget by 90 million euros by 2007. At the end of 2005, the archdiocese was home to 2.191.905 Catholics.