PRESS STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER FOR FINANCE
Minister for Finance Prof. Edward Scicluna welcomed the feedback given by the various stakeholders who attended the Pre Budget 2015 Consultation Business Breakfast.
The Pre Budget Business Breakfast, held at the Intercontinental, welcomed numerous stakeholders from various sectors, ranging from the private sector to civil society, and also government and public sector entities.
Opening the Business Breakfast, Minister Scicluna delivered a presentation which outlined the economic and fiscal budgetary framework.
Prof. Scicluna underlined that the Government remains confident that it will be able to meet its deficit target of 2.1 per cent for the end of 2014, in line with the government’s projections.
Prof. Scicluna also noted that employment is being generated primarily in the private sector, which the Government believes should be the sector driving Malta’s growth.
He also noted that the Government must look towards schemes aimed at further incentivising and encouraging labour participation, especially focused on long-term unemployed and similar groups, who have become dependent on state handouts. This, he said, is in line with the Government’s principle to create opportunities in order to address welfare dependency.
“The Government is paying close attention to the pension issue. It is important to note that the current forecasts are based on a model which was devised in the days of the financial crisis, and which therefore is founded about certain outdated assumptions,” Prof. Scicluna said.
He said that these assumptions are currently in the process of being updated with the assistance of an expert from the World Bank, as part of a detailed study, the results of which would be finalised in the coming weeks. Once finalised, the new forecast would afford the Government a better picture of the sustainability of the pension system,” Prof. Scicluna said.
With regard to the sustainability of public finances, Prof. Scicluna stated that the recently introduced Fiscal Responsibility Act will legally bind governments to more transparency and accountability.
Prof. Scicluna also said that the Government is looking towards implementing a series of initiatives aimed at encouraging investment, which are at various stages of incubation, and which will be announced as part of the budget.
– Wednesday, 1st October, 2014