The government's priorities in the forthcoming Budget are safeguarding the environment, sustainability in energy and water management, improving the road network, investment to promote social justice and achieving a gender balance in parliament, according to the pre-budget document published on Tuesday.

The government will also 'continue with its drive to strengthen the regulatory and supervisory institutions while focusing on making Malta a leading player in technological innovation as well as raising the quality of Malta’s tourism
product offer.'

Finance Minister Edward Scicluna launched the document and indicated that the Budget for 2020 will be presented in mid-October. The theme will be 'Sustaining inclusive growth'.

He was tight-lipped on possible Budget measures and, when questioned, also refused to rule out any tax increases, explaining that such announcements were not normally made at this early stage. 

The document, only sent to journalists by email at the end of the event, is mostly focused on the impact of past budgets, financial estimates and a review of economic performance.  

Asked what kind of measures were in the pipeline to compensate for recent increases in the prices of essential items such as milk and fuel, the finance minister said the government was watching the situation very closely.

“Any increases are noted and we will monitor what the effect of automatic mechanisms will be and whether there needs to be additional measures in the Budget to address them,” he said.

Furthermore, he pointed out that price hikes should not be seen in isolation, but one should look at the overall picture by considering if these were offset by wage increases and other measures.

In his presentation, Prof. Scicluna noted that since 2012 the rate of those at risk of poverty or social exclusion in Malta had fallen from 25 to 19 per cent, which was a sharper drop than the European average. He also highlighted a sharp increase in female participation in the labour force.

Read the document in full on pdf below. 

Attached files

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