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The Pre-Budget 2019 document with MCESD

Minister for Finance Edward Scicluna presented and discussed the economic and financial outlook of the economy and the prospects for the upcoming Budget 2019 with the Malta Council for Economic and Social Development (MCESD).

PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR FINANCE

AND

THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARIAT FOR EUROPEAN FUNDS

AND SOCIAL DIALOGUE

Minister Scicluna highlighted Malta’s economic and fiscal achievements to date. Malta’s economic growth is once again expected to remain above that of the EU average, with a well-contained inflation rate below the 2 per cent EU threshold. In addition, the government has achieved and exceeded the national EU 2020 target employment rate of 70 per cent. The Minister remarked that the supply of foreign labour has eased the problem of labour shortages in certain sectors, as well as contributing positively towards Malta’s economic growth. Nonetheless, the government will continue monitoring the quality of the labour force and tackle skill mismatches in Malta’s labour market.

Since attaining a surplus in 2016, Minister Scicluna explained that the government’s aim in this regard is to continue recording a surplus in the upcoming years net of IIP proceeds. The government is also doing its utmost to maintain a General Government Debt level below 50 per cent of GDP, as of 2018.

The Minister added that the percentage of people in Malta who are at risk of poverty or social exclusion has been declining at a sharp rate since 2014, together with a fall in the rate of Material Deprivation (MD) and Severe Material Deprivation (SMD).

Minister Scicluna concluded the discussion by focusing on the theme of the upcoming budget, that of fostering a quality culture.

Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds and Social Dialogue Aaron Farrugia said that the pre-budget meetings are focused on a long-term budget which takes into consideration ever-changing realities, including the future of work, the workplace, and the fourth industrial revolution. Aaron Farrugia noted that the upcoming year is expected to be a challenging one for a number of reasons: the EU budget negotiations, as well as a slowdown of the EU institutions as a result of the MEP elections, all need to be taken into consideration in pre-budget discussions. The meetings will also serve to take note of the previous year and the MCESD meetings which preceded them. Aaron Farrugia further noted that the agreements which came about with various sectors such as education and health also need to be taken into consideration, as they all form part of the holistic approach by the MCESD with the input of diverse entities.

6th August 2018


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