Current Affairs
Budget for 2019 to focus on quality of life for a better environment and beautiful projects

Preparations started for the next budget, with the first in a series of meetings within the Council for Economic and Social Development (MCESD). During the meeting, the social partners presented their proposals for the budget to Finance Minister, Edward Scicluna, who stated that he indicated the Government’s priority for the budget which is expected to be presented in Parliament when it meets again in October.

Speaking to journalists, Minister Scicluna said he requested the Contracts Director to investigate a report of a €247 million direct order given for the extension of St Vincent de Paul.

MCESD Chairman, John Bencini, stated that in the preparatory meetings for the next budget, the social partners presented proposals on various sectors, however he said these all include a single objective.

“In the absolute majority of the proposals, the social partners, whoever they are, are not looking at their niches but towards the common good of the country”, Mr Bencini said.

Minister Scicluna said that in the MCESD meetings, the social partners look at the direction the Government wants to give to the budget. TVM asked the Finance Minister what are the Government’s priorities for next year’s budget.

“This time we are emphasizing on encouraging a culture of quality, in an open way, both in the additional value, and even in projects we implement which are in good taste and care for the environment. After achieving aims, the necessities in life, you cherish more quality and the environment is also important. That is one sees that what is done is of certain quality”, the Minister added.

On the country’s current economic growth, Minister Scicluna stated that it is essential that in this state of development, Malta continues to sustain growth of at least 4% a year. He said that the employment rate is always increasing and reached 70%. On inflation, Prof. Scicluna said that this is currently 1.6% and is expected to rise to 1.8% in 2019.

Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds and Social Dialogue, Aaron Farrugia, said that the 2019 Budget looks forward and in the long term to further strengthen the country’s robust economy.

Asked on a report published on Sunday that the Government approved a direct order of €247 million for the extension of St Vincent de Paul complex, whose permit has still to be approved and be built, Minister Scicluna said he requested Contracts Director to present a report on what was reported.