Minister Edward Scicluna presents the National Reform Programme to the Social Partners

Minister for Finance Edward Scicluna addressed a joint MEUSAC and MCESD meeting on the National Reform Programme as part of the consultation process with the social partners and civil society. The meeting was chaired by MEUSAC Head Vanni Xuereb.



Minister Scicluna explained how the Government is addressing the Commission’s Country Specific Recommendations (CSR’s) and meeting the respective targets. He also replied to a number of issues raised by members.



He remarked how the inflow of investment, improved labour market conditions and low inflation rate led to a robust economic performance during 2015 where 6.3% in real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth was registered.

Minister Scicluna mentioned how not only the various CSRs were being addressed but targets were met. “A case in point is the achieved targets of 1.6% deficit and the reduction of debt to 64%” he said.

On the CSR dealing with education, initiatives are being undertaken to improve the basic skills of the individuals; reduce the number of early school leavers and to promote the continuous professional development of teachers.

Referring to pension reform, another of the CSRs, Minister Scicluna stressed the Government’s commitment to continue with the ongoing reform by gradually implementing a number of recommendations proposed by the Pensions Strategy Group. He noted that for the first time after decades, the minimum pension for a person with a full contributory record has been increased to €140 per week.



Other initiatives undertaken were the tax credits granted to individuals who invest in third pillar pension schemes. The Minister announced that a working group is to be set up to recommend proposals relative to the introduction of fiscal incentives for employers opting to introduce occupational pensions on a voluntary basis.

Minister Scicluna referred to a number of initiatives being undertaken to improve access to finance for small and micro-enterprises with particular reference to non-banking instruments such as the B.START Scheme, PROSPECTS (an initiative launched by the Malta Stock Exchange) and the setting up of the National Development Bank.
“In the coming weeks there will be the launch of a consultation process on amendments to the Companies Act aimed at giving a ‘second chance’ to companies for them to continue as a viable going concern and updating the legislation related to recovery of registered commercial companies” Minister Scicluna announced.

Minister Scicluna concluded by stating that the drive to improve the efficiency of the judicial system will continue. He added that EU Structural Funds will be utilised to create opportunities through investment in human capital and the fostering of competitiveness through innovation amongst other priorities.


– Wednesday, 30th March, 2016


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