The Minister for Finance, Edward Scicluna, during the series of conferences on the theme Malta Nikbru Flimkien (Malta Growing Together), said the Budget for next year continues to give an economic message that weighs in favour of families and vulnerable persons.
The Minister said the measures announced in the Budget are sending out positive economic signals and emphasising policies that are determining a better quality of life for the people of Malta and Gozo.
Addressing a media conference the Minister said this is the fifth successive Budget announcing a surplus. He maintained that while the Government aims to ensure that expenditure does not outstrip income it is still continuing to implement measures to ensure that those who are most vulnerable receive the most support.
Professor Scicluna recalled that in 2013, Malta had been placed as being in an excessive deficit procedure by the EU Commission. He said the new Government could not have inherited a worse position as that of being placed in an unstable macro-economic position imposed by the Commission. Now however, the World Economic Forum has announced it has placed the country as being uppermost in the world to have macro-economic stability, meaning the progress is not only being felt by the Maltese but has also been noted overseas.
The Parliamentary Secretary for the Digital Economy, Silvio Schembri, said that while the Budget contains no taxation measures there has been an increase in expenditure to ensure a higher standard of living for the peoples of Malta and Gozo. He said the country’s economy is diversified, reforms are taking place in the financial sector and new niches are being developed such as the digital economy, Artificial Intelligence and the gaming sector so as to ensure sustainability. Currently there are 134 new applications from gaming companies wishing to establish their operations from Malta.