Government launches the Pre-Budget 2014 Consultation Document
“The theme chosen for this Pre-Budget Document – ‘stabbiltà biex noħolqu l-ġid għal kulħadd’ –embodies this Government’s economic stance for this legislature,” said Finance Minister Prof. Edward Scicluna during the presentation of the Pre-Budget Consultation Document on Friday 9th August 2013.
“The new Government is wholly committed to macro-economic stability, so that local and foreign investors can enjoy certainty and confidence – two elements fundamental to enterprise, the generation of wealth and job creation,” Prof. Scicluna said.
He said that to retain this macro-economic stability, the new Government intends to address the country’s fiscal deficit and debt levels, re-directing the public sector towards renewed financial sustainability, while also actively addressing key challenging public policy areas that require early attention.
He said the Government will be focusing in particular on Malta’s Country Specific Recommendations through initiatives and efforts targeting the energy sector and reducing Malta’s dependence on oil, encouraging greater labour participation especially among women through free and expanded child care services, and addressing early school leavers, expanding tertiary education, curbing illiteracy rates, and ensuring the sustainability of pensions by exploring the introduction of the third pension pillar.
“The Government is intent on delivering on its commitments, and work is progressing at an energetic pace on plans that will result in reduced and more competitive prices for energy and water and that would enhance our enterprises’ competitiveness and our households’ disposable income.”
He also noted that in its first few months in office, the new Government has already undertaken a number of concrete initiatives in support of our economy and with a view of diversifying into new economic activities.
Prof. Scicluna also said that the Pre-Budget Document heralds a new approach to the Government’s approach to the administration of public finances which places a greater emphasis on long-term economic planning, and the elimination of waste and inefficiencies through spending reviews aimed at the maximisation of existing resources.
“We are confident in our ability to deliver on our commitments to the country. We are confident that, together with key stakeholders and the public, the Government can continue to create a society that empowers and creates the right opportunities for all.”
Prof. Scicluna also emphasised that while total expenditure had increased by €60.9, the total recurrent revenue for Jan-June 2013 stood at €104 million higher than Jan-June 2012. In fact, the actual expenditure so far is €11.7 million less than the Budget estimate for the first half of 2013.
He said that the Central Government Deficit improved by €43 million from €284 million in Jan-June 2012 to €241 million in Jan-June 2013. “Thus, Consolidated Fund data is showing that government revenue and expenditure are to date on track, as savings are already being registered.”
The Pre Budget Document presentation represents the beginning of a consultation process which will see the Government meeting with various stakeholders in the coming weeks, as well as receiving feedback directly from the public.
Minister Prof. Scicluna augured that the coming consultation process with the stakeholders, as well as the Maltese and Gozitan public, would be a productive and fruitful one.
– Friday, 9th August, 2013.