Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has said that the measures announced in next year’s budget for were intended to to reward hardworking Maltese and Gozitans and to improve their quality of life.
In a news conference after Minister Edward Scicluna presented the budget for 2020, Dr Muscat said that the budget addressed people who were most in need. He said that ‘social justice was an integral part of the government’s ethos ensuring that no one lags behind.
Prime Minister Muscat said that the budgets that were announced this year and in previous years was built on sustainability and would be maintained in the coming years.
‘The measures announced tonight are worth millions but the wonderful thing is that these measures are linked to other measures announced in previous years which have all been rolled over; we have a situation here where the measures we announced are not a flash in the pan or one off but measures which the Maltese and Gozitan people will continue to enjoy for years to come. ‘
The Prime Minister Muscat said that the government had inherited a 7 billion Euro economy which would be doubled to 14 billion euro by next year. He said that in 2020 a third surplus was expected to be recorded while the deficit would be reduced by 40%.
Dr Muscat promised the elderly that if things continued as they were, they would benefit from further increases next year after many years of having to endure a freeze in their pensions as a result of previous governments.
Talking about people with disabilities who could not go out to work, Dr. Muscat said that they were receiving a pension equivalent to the minimum wage and that this showed black on white respect.
Dr Muscat said that the government preferred to use incentives rather than levy taxes, and that was the path that the Government intended to stay on.
When asked by journalists about his future, Dr Muscat replied that this was not the last budget he would present as Prime Minister.
Minister of Finance Edward Scicluna said that with each successive budget, the government showed that it was capable of renewing itself and of bringing about situations to develop locally and internationally. He said that the government believed in everyone, and even little bit counted – even 50 euro checks make a difference in people’s lives.
Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne said that the budget continues to create an atmosphere which encouraged and brought about success and one which focussed on the disadvantaged.
Watch the press conference here: