Fiducjuzi li l-Kummissjoni se twaqqa’ l-proċeduri ta’ defiċit eċċessiv

Il-Ministru tal-Finanzi Edward Scicluna qal li jinsab fiducjuz li fl-ewwel xhur tas-sena d-dieħla, il-Kummissjoni Ewropea se tkun qed twaqqa’ l-proċedura li fetħet kontra Malta s-sena li għaddiet dwar defiċit eċċessiv.

Meta kien qiegħed jindirizza laqgħa ta’ konsultazzjoni pubblika fi pjazza San Ġorġ fil-Belt Valletta, il-Ministru Scicluna qal li d-defiċit niżel taħt il-previżjonijiet tal-Kummissjoni Ewropea kemm matul din is-sena u kemm matul is-sena li għaddiet.


[nggallery id=232]

Il-Ministru qal li d-defiċit matul din is-sena se jkun ta’ 2.1% waqt li l-Kummissjoni Ewropea kienet qed tbassar żbilanċ ta’ 2.5%.

Huwa qal li s-sena li għaddiet, id-defiċit tal-Gvern kien ta’ 2.7%  waqt li l-Kummissjoni kienet qed tbassar żbilanċ finanzjarju ta’ 3.7%.

Għas-sena d-dieħla, il-mira tal-Gvern se tkun defiċit ta’ 1.6% waqt li l-Kummissjoni qed tbassar defiċit ta’ 2.6%.


OMR_3300e featured


Rigward il-fehma tal-Kummissjoni fuq il-Budget għas-sena d-dieħla, il-Ministru qal li Malta flimkien ma’ disa’ pajjiżi oħra m’għandhomx problema dwar  żbilanċ fl-ekonomija tagħhom. “Dan ifisser li kontra dak li qed tgħid l-Oppożizzjoni, m’hemm ebda bozoz ħomor jixegħlu għall-ekonomija Maltija”, qal Scicluna.

Dwar il-miżuri mħabbra fil-budget, il-Ministru Scicluna qal dan m’għadux aktar eżerċizzju ta’ accountancy. Minflok qal li dan għandu l-għan li jippromwovi ċertu tip ta’ ħajja fost setturi tas-soċjetà bħal dawk qiegħda, single parents u fuq kollox għandu l-għan li jnaqqas id-dipendenza fuq l-Istat.



Minister confident that Brussels will soon lift the excessive deficit procedure

Finance Minister Edward Scicluna this morning expressed himself confident that Brussels will drop the excessive deficit procedure for Malta early next year, probably sometime in March or April.
Addressing a Budget consultation meeting at St George’s Square in Valletta, Prof. Scicluna said that the deficit has been reduced below the forecasts of the European Commission both this year and in 2013.

He noted that this year deficit will be of 2.1 per cent by the end of this year, whereas the Commission’s estimate was of 2.5 per cent.

Last year the government’s deficit was 2.7 per cent, even though Brussels had projected a 3.7 per cent deficit.

As for next year the target was 1.6 per cent while the Commission’s estimate was 2.6, the minister said.

He argued that the Commission was still “suspicious” of Malta’s financial plan in the wake of the fact that in 2013 Malta had been placed under the excessive deficit procedure, a few months after it had gone out of such a procedure in November 2012.

Touching on the Commission’s opinion on the Budget, he said that Malta together with nine other countries was declared ‘clean’ in terms of its macro economic imbalance. “This means that no red lights are on for the economy contrary to the Opposition’s claims,” he said.

Commenting on the Budget measures, Prof. Scicluna remarked that this was no longer an accounting exercise. Instead it aimed to promote a certain way of life among sectors of society such as the unemployed, single parents and to reduce dependency on the State.

The chairman of the Malta Council for Economic and Social Development (MCESD), John Bencini, who was present among the audience, urged the government to address concerns on declining exports which had been raised by employers, and the issue of precarious employment which was raised by the unions.

“The government has to put his foot down on the issue of precarious employment,” Mr Bencini said.

The minister said that this issue of precarious employment was being taken very seriously, but at the same time he warned that the government had to keep an eye on the country’s competitiveness.

Philip Fenech from the GRTU spoke about the introduction of excise tax on tyres which has replaced eco tax. He noted that in the case of heavy trucks this woud translate to an expense of some €200.

The minister said that the government would study the GRTU’s concerns




Baġit li jneħħi l-ostakli.

Waqt l-għaxar laqgħa ta’ Gvern li Jisma, il-Ministru għall-Finanzi Edward Scicluna qal li l-bagit għas-sena elfejn u ħmistax kien baġit mhux tas-soltu, baġit ekonomiku u li jneħħi l-ostakli



Finance Minister wants ‘in-depth studies’ on impact of taxes well ahead of budget presentation

Finance Minister Edward Scicluna wants studies to be drafted well ahead of the presentation of the budget, studying the impact of increase in taxes on different industries.
Addressing the third edition of the government that listens campaign, Scicluna said the government should not start worrying or face complaints on the negative impact of certain budgetary measures on the eve of a budget or after their implementing but during the year leading up to the budget.
“We face huge resistance in the administration to keep things as they are…the same things which drove the previous government straight into a wall. There are systems which are not working, one of the reasons prompting us to merge the VAT and income tax departments,” he said.
The minister said that, soon after this appointment as minister for finance, he travelled to Washington seeking the help of the International Monetary Fund to help government in strengthening fiscal discipline.
Scicluna said government should not prepare for an increase in taxes on the eve of a budget but a year before.
Speaking on pensions, the minister said simply increasing the national insurance contribution was not enough. “It will not lead us amywhere, especially for individuals who are on minimum wage,” he said.
In his introductory speech, the finance minister said the budget presented for next year rewarded hard work, encouraging employment.
“This is a budget so full of different measures, that even I am still counting…yesterday for, example, I found out we have 12 measures just for women. This budget is not simply an accounting exercise but one which encourages people to join the workforce. I am representing the taxpayer so I have to ensure that there is a return on the taxes paid,” Scicluna said.
€180 million in social benefits will be forked out this year to assist 140,000 persons entitled to some sort of benefit. Scicluna said the government could not allow dependency on social benefits when a person could be encouraged and trained to join the workforce.
The minister said that upon election in 2013, the Labour government was faced by a situation where Malta was placed under excessive deficit procedure and another for macroeconomic balance.
“Put simply, they admitted us to hospital and took us straight to the cardiac care unit,” Scicluna told the small audience gathered at St George’s Square. “We not only had heart problems, but were also suffering from jaundice.”
As for the EDP, “Malta is still in outpatients”, monitored by the EU even though the deficit target for 2014 will stand at 2.7% with government projecting a 2.1% deficit for 2015.
The European Commission has issued an opinion saying Malta’s draft budget in 2014 – submitted earlier this year – will not fulfill the requirements to correct the government’s deficit under the excessive deficit procedure (EDP). It transpires that the lack of detail on Budget 2015 revenue measures in the draft budget that the finance ministry gave to the Commission, meant that the EC had to base its opinion on a “no policy change” based on previous budgets.
The ministry pointed out that the €28 million euro worth of fiscal consolidation measures announced in Budget 2015 were not formally taken into consideration by the European Commission in this evaluation.
Scicluna argued that Budget 2015 further helped women “to break through the glass ceiling”and encouraging them to join the workforce.
“It is not true that women refused to join the workforce in the past because of some religious belief or because families in Malta are different from the rest of the world. Truth is that there were several obstacles for women to join the workforce. An important measure which we will be endlessly proud of is that of providing free childcare centres,” he said.
On precarious work, Scicluna said it was a huge injustice that two workers doing the same job received different wages, simply because one was employed directly with the government and the other was subcontracted. The government has now pledged a regularisation of salaries of individuals employed by contractors. In 2015, subcontracted individuals working on government projects will be entitled to a salary not less than a salary paid to to a government employee with the same job.
“A government that listens is not just a slogan for us. This is not a marketing exercise but a government that truly listens to what people and unions need. The government’s job is then to implement these ideas. The reason that the budget was welcomed by the majority of social partners is because we listened to them in the first place,” Scicluna said.
The European Commission recently asked Malta to top up its contribution to the EU budget by €13 million, a request which Scicluna insisted the ministry had already factored in its budget.
“The more a country improves economically, the more the contribution has to increase. This is a fact of life. But here we’re talking about some €10 or €20 million…not about 66% of a billion euros in EU funds which the previous administration did not make use of and we, in 20 months, had to rush to use in order not to lose them. In seven years, they only made use of 33% of the funds available for Malta to spend on projects,” he said.



Malta’s excessive deficit procedure set to end early next year, Finance Minister maintains

Finance Minister Edward Scicluna said this morning that he was confident that the European Commission would drop the excessive deficit procedure for Malta early next year, once government finance figures for 2014 are out.

Speaking during a public consultation meeting in Valletta, Prof. Scicluna argued that the Commission was still wary of Malta’s financial plans since the country’s financial estimates for 2012 had been off target, leading it to be placed under an excessive deficit procedure a few months after this had been lifted in November 2012.

But he said that in 2013 and this year, the deficit has been reduced below the European Commission’s own forecasts. He noted that last year, the government deficit amounted to 2.7% of the GDP, even though the Commission had projected a 3.7% deficit. This year, the Commission estimates a deficit of 2.5%, but the minister assured that the government’s 2.1% target would be met.

The government’s deficit target for 2015 is also lower than the Commission’s estimate of 2.6%, at 1.6% of the GDP.

Prof. Scicluna also discussed the Commission’s opinion on Malta’s draft budget, in which it warned that the country’s budgetary plans were at risk of non-compliance.

He reiterated that the lack of detail on new or revised indirect taxes include in the 2015 Budget – stemming from Maltese custom not to announce such measures before Budget Day – accounted for this, as €28 million in projected revenue was consequently not factored in the Commission’s evaluation.

The minister argued that the government should not prepare for tax increases on the eve of a budget but well in advance, with studies looking into the economic impact of new taxes.

Prof. Scicluna noted that when the present government came into power, Malta was not only placed under excessive deficit procedure but also under the macroeconomic imbalance procedure. He pointed out that in spite of its warning on Malta’s budgetary plans, the Commission still declared Malta to have addressed its macroeconomic imbalance, and advised that this procedure should be lifted.




Fil-baġit il-Gvern wera li kapaċi jwettaq- Ministru Sciculna


Waqt is-sessjoni ta’ Gvern li jisam li saret is-Sibt filgħodu l-Ministru Edward Scicluna qal li dan kien baġit mhux tas-soltu, “dan kien bagit ekonomiku li jbiddel u jneħħi l-ostakli.”

Il-politika tal-Gvern, saħaq Scicluna għandha tkun waħda li tagħmel ġustizzja ma min iħallas it-taxxa filwaqt li joħloq bilanċ fil-kontijiet pubbliċi. Permezz ta’ dan il-baġit il-Gvern wera li kapaċi jwettaq il-bidliet neċessarji.

Filwaqt li tkellem dwar it-tliet dokumenti maħruġa lbierah mill-Kummissjoni Ewropea, Scicluna qal li Malta fl-2013, sabet ruħha f’żewg proċeduri, b’erbgħin indikatur; excessive defiċit u macro expenses.

F’Novembru 2012 il-KE iddikjarat li ħriġna mill-excessive defiċit procedure. Tliet xhur wara Malta irreġistrat deficit ta’ 3.7% u sal-lum id-defiċit niżel għal 2.7%. Din is-sena, il-KE qed timmira li jkollna defiċit ta’ 2.5%, fl-istess waqt il-Gvern qed jimmira għal defiċit ta’ 2.1%.

Rigward il-bilanċji macro-ekonomiċi Ilbierah il-Ke iddikjarat li Malta mixja ‘l quddiem.

Grazzi għal diversi miżuri ta’ dan il-Gvern aktar nisa qed jeqilbu l-ostakli biex jidħlu fid-dinja tax-xogħol.

Id-deputat Silvio Schembri, li kien prezenti qal li l-interessi li Malta tħallas fuq jammontaw għal aktar minn 230 miljun fis-sena. Minkejja l-izvantaġġ li beda minnu dan il-Gvern, qed jibqa’ jieħu miżuri li jinċentivaw it-tkabbir ekonomiku mingħajr ma nixħtu piżijiet ġodda fuq il-familji.

Il-Ministru Scicluna stqarr ukoll li l-paga minima f’Malta hija qrib ta’ dawk il-pajjiżi kompetituri tagħna. Din mhijiex biżżejjed, iżda meta jkunu implimentati miżuri bħal childcare centres b’xejn u tisħieħ tal-istipendji, il-kwalità tal-ħajja ta’ aktar persuni qiegħda titjieb.

Meta mistoqsi Malta x’għandha x’ tagħti lill-UE, Scicluna saħaq li l-KE għamlet reviżjoni tal-kontribuzzjoni mistennija minn kull Stat Membru. Minkejja li minn din is-sena, Malta se tkun qed tikkontribwixxi aktar, hemm biljun ewro f’fondi għal żvilupp f’oqsma varji biex Malta tgawdi minnhom. Sa issa qed jintefqu biss 33% tal-fondi allokati lill-Malta, il-Gvern qed jimmira li dan jiżdied 66%.

Joe Bencini mill-Kunsill Malti għall-Iżvilupp qal li l-imsieħba soċjali għandhom id-dubji tagħhom dwar s-sitwazzjoni fl-importazzjoni u l-esportazzjoni f’Malta u is-sitwazzjoni tal-prekarjat fil-privat.

Il-Ministru qal li fil-kummerċ internazzjonali, il-Gvern qiegħed jistudja l-qagħda preżenti, u s’issa sab li huma interessi vestiti, saħansitra fuq in-naħa tal-Gvern, li qed jagħmlu gwadann minn sistema li mhix taħdem jew mhix sostenibbli.

Dwar il-prekarjat, hemm miżuri biex nersqu lejn il-prinċipju ta’ ħlas ugwali għall-istess xogħol.


– Saturday, 29th November, 2014


, ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *