In an interview with weekly newspaper Illum, Finance Minister Edward Scicluna talks about the recent confirmation that the deficit for 2012 turned out to be somewhat higher than that expected, and what effect – if any – it would have on the 2013 budget.
The Labour Party had originally pledged to retain the budget framework of the 2013 budget as was presented by government in November 2012, which then failed to pass when rogue Nationalist MP Franco Debono voted against the budget, spelling the end for both the budget and the PN government.
The only change that Labour announced it would be making to the 2013 budget is the correction of an anomaly by which people earning minimum wage would find themselves paying income tax, a point which both parties agreed upon.
The 2013 budget will be presented in parliament by Scicluna on Monday. However all eyes are now on the Labour Government and Scicluna to see whether Labour will go back on its promise in the light of the higher-than-expected 2012 deficit.
In the interview Scicluna addresses these questions, as well as questions regarding how will government be handling the increased deficit.
He also discusses the factors that contributed to Malta’s increased 2012 deficit, exploring the political environment that pushed the PN administration’s expenditure to new heights.
Scicluna also discusses the Cypriot crisis, and what are the real risks that Malta faces should international speculation regarding the local banking and financial sector keep spreading.
– MaltaToday : Saturday, 6th April, 2013