The COVID-19 pandemic cost the Maltese government an estimated €900 million last year and the deficit for last year is therefore projected to be higher than 9.4%, Finance Minister Clyde Caruana told parliament on Tuesday.

The 9.4% figure (€1.22 billion) was given in the budget speech last October.

Replying to questions, Caruana said these are provisional calculations.

For this year, he said that the government would do whatever it takes to safeguard the economy and jobs. As a result, he said, deficit projections may need to be revised over the coming weeks and months.

The government had projected a deficit of 5.9% (€751m) for this year. 



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