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The economic impact of lockdowns

The main economic burdens brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic are essentially twofold. The first is the extraordinary pressure on health resources and health-related expen­ditures: starting with the public information campaign, testing, contact tracing, emergency additional healthcare and extra hospitalisation spend, and more recently, vaccination. I recall the Finance Ministry put aside a provisional estimate of €20 million, which grew over the year to nearly €100 million, if we were to ... [+]

Managing the economy in a time of crises

The outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic in early 2020 has brought about unprecedented stresses to the global economy. The unrelenting speed at which the virus spread resulted in unanticipated strains on global health care systems. Economic activity was hardly hit as lockdowns started being imposed in various countries to limit ... [+]

Keeping up appearances

The Nationalist Party is asking for my head, my resignation. The indictment? The FIAU got itself in breach of the third anti-money-laundering (AML) directive by not following the correct procedures during my watch as Minister for Finance. The PN team of two called a press conference. Straight faces. A very ... [+]

We need to use carrots and sticks

You rounded off your Budget speech by saying it was time to start taking “tough decisions”. However, there was nothing of the sort. Why? Decisions are tough and will be taken now. The government will not shirk its responsibility even though such decisions will have medium- to long-term effects. Some problems ... [+]

Our country’s best days

Now that Government has succeeded in achieving a new level of growth for the Maltese economy while obtaining the desired fiscal position, it can afford to focus more on improving the take-home income of Maltese and Gozitan families. This will ensure that everyone living in our economy is enjoying a ... [+]

Malta Surplus: easy for some, impossible for others

I must admit that the sudden news of a fiscal surplus on the government’s accounts after 35 years of successive deficits has stunned in a big way a small section of the people who still live in the past pre-election foolish illusion that a Labour government would be unable to ... [+]

Indeed, a shocking matter

The recent issue of the alleged shocking €250 million over-spend by the Government for 2016 is an eye-opener to the independent-minded observer of the shabby way important issues are sometimes treated, with hardly any respect to the intelligence of the population at large. Here we have a subject which for any ... [+]

‘You cannot fight the market’

If ever there was a job to which the old saying ‘you can never win’ applies, surely it would have to be the Minister of Finance. Traditionally, as the man who holds the key to the national treasury, he is inundated with pressure from Cabinet colleagues demanding ever-increasing allocations. And ... [+]

The four main areas of poverty and how each budget has tackled them

Finance Minister Edward Scicluna meets with The Malta Independent on Sunday in order to fill us in on what the government’s term plan is and how this budget fits into the grander scheme of things. Professor Scicluna divulged the systematic approach taken by this government to tackle issues in various ... [+]

How Finance Minister Scicluna builds his Budget

Faced with criticism that the middle class was forgotten in the Budget, Finance Minister Edward Scicluna says the exercise is part of a five-year plan and cannot be viewed in isolation. The Labour Party was under pressure by its traditional voters to deliver a more social Budget after three years of wealth generation ... [+]