The Labour Parliamentary Group have been given a first indication of the Budget during a meeting held at Castille on Saturday morning. Although Budget details are still not known, indications so far are that the Budget will increase pensions, whilst the compensation for the cost of living is reported as being 2.33 euro per week.
Last fine tunings for the Budget, which is being presented to Parliament on Monday evening, continued at the Finance Ministry. Although Budget measures will not be known before Finance Minister Edward Scicluna reads his Budget speech, the Minister has already indicated the main themes on which the Budget will focus, inspired by the pre-Budget document.
Minister Edward Scicluna stated that “in the 2019 Budget Government will continue to build on the successes of recent years in regard to strong economic growth, a low rate of unemployment, and Government finances which produce a surplus. As a result of the Budget we will have measures which impact on quality of life.”
Expectations are that the Budget will be tackling, among other issues, the problem of social housing, and changes are expected in the Government subsidy to entitled persons for private rentals, together with an increase in pensions besides the cost of living increase. Another sector which is expected to be tackled in the Budget is the transport infrastructure and a health sector project, as well as the waste issue as part of the environment strategy.
Budget proposals, made in recent days by various entities ranging from unions to employers as well as various sectors of civil society, point to many expectations; however, as in every other Budget, they are unlikely to be all met, even if Professor Scicluna points out that Government heeds suggestions made in this regard.
Minister Scicluna stated that “Government really consults, not just with the MCESD, employers, unions… and all this leads to people’s suggestions being reflected in the Budget.”
Until the Budget briefcase remains tightly closed, expectations remain for details of the measures to be announced in Monday evening’s Parliamentary sitting.
TVM, Radju Malta 2 and TVM.com.mt have prepared special services which will analyse the Budget both before the start of the Budget Speech as well as after the speech. Transmissions start at 5.00 p.m.