The 2015 Budget is removing obstacles to local businesses and enterprises, while assisting lower income earners, to ensure that the country keeps generating economic growth, and that the wealth that is created is distributed in a just and fair manner, said the Minister for Finance Prof. Edward Scicluna.
The Minister for Finance was speaking following a tour of the Foster Clark’s premises, where he met factory and office staff.
Prof. Scicluna noted that Foster Clarks represents one of Malta’s success stories, as it is a Maltese enterprise that today employs over 400 people, and exports goods to over 75 countries around the world.
He noted that the Budget 2015 was planned and prepared to safeguard the competitiveness of local enterprises, at a time when the European and global economies are still sluggish, resulting in relatively low export demand.
“Our reality was that we needed to work towards growth, but not by handing out one-time subsidies to businesses. What the private sector truly needs to flourish is the removal of obstacles,” Prof. Scicluna said, adding that this is especially important in a country like Malta, which relies heavily on importation and exportation.
He noted that the Budget measure regarding the reduction of energy and water tariffs for the private sector, which is expected to inject €50 million into the economy, will help businesses remain competitive.
He also noted that the Government is assisting lower-income workers without imposing additional burdens on the private sector. This is in line with the Government’s commitment to ensure that the growth and wealth that is being generated is distributed in a just and fair manner.
In this regard, he referred to the Budget 2015 measures whereby income tax for those in higher-to-middle income was reduced, and also the In-Work Benefits measure, whereby lower-income families who benefited from €35 one-time bonus on top of the €30 COLA adjustment, would also receive a €1,000 allowance per child.
These schemes and allowances form part of a €23 million package aimed towards middle and low income families.
Prof. Scicluna also said that the Government was removing obstacles for women seeking employment through the Budget 2015 maternity leave measures.
– 20th November, 2014