MCESD and Government meet to prepare economic recovery budget

Less than one week from the additional budget which the Government will be proposing on Monday. Finance Minister Edward Scicluna met with social partners within the Malta Council for Economic and Social Development (MCESD) in order to take a look at the financial situation of the country before and after the pandemic. During the meeting, Minister Scicluna also explained the position which Malta is taking regarding the financial aid package being offered by the EU to member states.

Over the last few weeks, many social partners from the employment sector submitted their representations so that the Government will give them assistance because they were badly hit by the economic stagnation caused by the pandemic. The next step is for the Government to continue to provide support through incentives so that economic activity can get going again.

This was the spirit of the meeting between Minister Scicluna and the social partners before the additional budget is presented to Parliament on Monday. During the meeting he gave an overview of the Maltese economy from statistic indicators which showed that the first three months of this year, the Maltese economy maintained its economic growth of 0.5%.

Minister Scicluna said that the Budget will include a number of incentives for businesses and Maltese citizens to recover their economic confidence so that the wheel can keep on turning. He said that the Government over the last few weeks launched a package of financial grants and has continued to consider other proposals made by the social partners so that this budget will be an effective one for economic recovery. He added that this was not a time for austerity measures but a time to stimulate the economy.

The Minister explained that Malta has approved the four financial packages which were put together by the EU for member states in a sense of solidarity. He added however that on the last package of  €750 billion, while Malta agreed in principle, it has serious reservations about the proposals by the European Commission which it will be arguing on at the European Council, because the taxes it is proposing would have a detrimental effect on the Maltese economy.

The Minister explained that with the Commission’s proposals, Malta, as opposed to other countries, would be entitled to more loans rather than financial aid.

He said that the taxes being purposed by the Commission on air travel and bunkering, are not in Malta’s interests.

At the beginning of the meeting, the Minister responsible for Social Dialogue Carmelo Abela thanked the private sector for keeping their employees employed and proving that the Maltese economy is resilient even during these difficult times of the pandemic.