Finance Minister Prof. Edward Scicluna speaks about the pride he felt while presenting the very first budget as prepared by the new Labour Government, and which outlines its vision for the future of the country.
Prof. Scicluna explains that the Budget is not simply an accounting exercise which shifts funds from one department or ministry to another, but an opportunity to address the needs of the country.
Prof. Scicluna says that the Government approached the Budget with the mindset that it could not spend more than the country can afford if the goal of reducing the deficit in a lasting manner is to be achieved.
Secondly, Prof. Scicluna explains that the Budget was also intended to make work pay by reducing taxes on work, which it did through measure that reduce income tax from 32% to 29%, and other measures which encourage people to go out and work, such as free childcare for working parents, breakfast club services for school children, and also various tax incentives.
Prof. Scicluna also notes that the Budget 2014 addresses one of Malta’s most urgent areas: the energy sector and exorbitant tariffs. He notes that despite how the Government inherited a flawed and crippled system which lacked a long-term plan and was on the verge of collapse, the Government was still able to lower electricity and water tariffs by up to 25% and 5% respectively for households and families, while ensuring the fiscal stability of Enemalta.
Prof. Scicluna also notes that the Budget reflects the Government’s determination to continue supporting students to achieve ever-higher levels of educational attainment, through stronger stipends and also through expansion of stipends to those who must repeat the scholastic year.
Prof. Scicluna adds that the Budget is also looking towards the safeguarding of Malta’s environmental and cultural heritage, as put together, these contribute towards the quality of life enjoyed by Maltese and Gozitan families.
– Monday, 11th November, 2013