The pre-Budget document would list the increase in the public wage bill following the recruitment of nearly 1,900 new employees since Labour’s electoral victory, Finance Minister Edward Scicluna has said.
According to recently released figures, 1,879 workers were employed since the March 2013 election.
NSO figures show that, between March 2008 and March 2013, some 900 jobs had been added to the public service. When questioned by Times of Malta yesterday, Prof. Scicluna said that 700 Arriva workers had ended up on the government’s books after it temporarily took over the public transport system.
“The important thing from a financial aspect is that the proportion of people in the public sector in comparison with the entire working population remains constant.”
That number, he said, needed to be factored out because public transport would be privatised shortly. “The important thing from a financial aspect is that the proportion of people in the public sector in comparison with the entire working population remains constant,” he said.
“And this, in fact, is ascertained.”
The increase in salaries paid to the additional employees and, therefore, the higher government expenditure was projected in last year’s Budget, Prof. Scicluna said.
“We’re happy that we’re reaching the targets and I hope we continue in this vein so that, by December, like last year, we’ll have a deficit below the three per cent mark.”
When asked to put a figure to the estimated increase in the public wage bill due to the 1,900 new employees, the minister insisted the information was public and was listed by the NSO.
Part of the figure, he continued, was calculated on a cash flow basis and part on an accrual basis.
“You must look at the accrued because comparing the figure with last year’s figures is not the correct way of doing things. You must compare with the estimate.
“On Wednesday, the pre-Budget document will be out and we’ll have all the figures there.
“We’ve got nothing to hide,” Prof. Scicluna said.
– Tuesday, 2nd September, 2014