A week before the presentation of next year’ budget, Principal Permanent Secretary, Mario Cutajar, has said that this year 74 percent of the budgetary measures had already been implemented. He said that this was close to the average for the past six years, bringing the total to a thousand three hundred and fifty proposals between 2013 and 2019.
Mr Cutajar presented a report called “The Implementation of Budget 2019” which gives an account of the measures carried out and others which still need to be implemented. Mr Cutajar said that this year saw the implementation of two hundred and eight proposals.
Among the measures carried out and which have made a difference to peoples’ lives, there is the tax relief on the transfer of businesses from parents to children, the increase in rental subsidies for families who can only afford the minimum, free transportation which is being enjoyed by some 34,000 students, and free admission for students to historic sites.
Mr Cutajar explained that the budget is not only a fiscal exercise but consisted in the designing and implementation of policies of ministries and government department. “Which is to say that the budget is not just fiscal but is about policy and priorities. ”
Finance Minister, Edward Scicluna, said that this showed accountability, transparency, and a new style of leadership. He also claimed that what counted was not the promises but what was implemented.
Professor Scicluna said that twenty-six per cent of the proposals still outstanding would not be discarded. “Government projects are not a one size fits all. This is not a box which starts in January and ends in November. Life is not like that. There are many ongoing projects which finish in March or in May, and which are subsequently reported. This time we had 54 measures implemented from other budgets.
In anticipation of today week’s budget speech, Minister Scicluna said that Malta was in a strong position economically and fiscally, but was taking precautions to deal with international factors that can hinder the economy, such as the Brexit and trade protection, as well as the slow pace of some major economies.