Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister, Chris Fearne, stated that next year’s budget is built on three pillars: wealth creation, incentives for those in need to move forward and further improvement in the quality of life.
Addressing the media at Castille, Dr Fearne referred to initiatives which will be announced in the coming weeks to enter into force the Budget measures. During the press conference, Finance Minister Edward Scicluna spoke on the main challenges addressed in the Budget, saying that with the surplus the Government is addressing future generations.
Deputy Prime Minister Fearne stated that the Budget aims at placing wealth at everyone’s disposal. He mentioned the €2.17 increase to pensioners apart from the cost of living compensation of €2.33. Dr Fearne said that from next year increases will be implemented in sickness benefits and carers allowances so that more elderly persons continue to live in their homes.
Minister Fearne added that around 1,400 children with disability and their families will benefit from an increase in allowance, which will increase with another €5 a week. He stated that the Budget will assist those who are trapped in rents, with a radical change in the way subsidies are given so that rents will be more affordable. From next year, he said all students attending up to secondary level will be able to visit Heritage Malta sites and museums, free of charge, together with two adults. The Government is also committed to strengthen security in areas, such as Paceville.
Finance Minister Edward Scicluna stated that the Government introduced measures in the Budget that address the needs of low income workers so that, with the mechanism agreed on the National Minimum Wage, the worker will not remain on the minimum sage for more than a year. He said that for the first time in 11 years, Children’s Allowances will be increased to families with income of less than €20,000 a year. Prof. Scicluna added that next years the tax refund will be again given, with 200,000 workers to benefit from this measure.
Minister Sciclana stated that while new measures were introduced, schemes introduced in recent years such as stamp tax reduction on residential property purchases and refund schemes on expenses for restoration works, will be extended. He said that apart from assisting families, the measure will provide incentives to the economy.