Prime Minister Joseph Muscat stated that tomorrow’s Budget will be built on principles of sustainability, which reward thrifty families and help those mostly in need. Dr Muscat added the people can rest assured that tomorrow Government will not be taking anything from them. Announcing that pensions will again be increased, Dr Muscat also indicated a cut-off date will be announced for prohibition of importation of petrol- and diesel-powered cars.
The Prime Minister declared the Budget will be built on the plan which is the Labour Party’s electoral manifesto.
During a political activity in Ħal Għaxaq, Dr Muscat referred to climate change, stating this is not just an environmental issue but also an economic one. The Prime Minister said Government will indicate in the Budget that the economic plan will be built on economic changes which will occur in Europe, adding that these would include the changeover from polluting vehicles to others run on hydrogen and electric power.
Dr Muscat said this would create various challenges, among which the fact that many apartment blocks are not fitted with a three-phase electricity system, and it would also affect the second-hand vehicles sector. The Prime Minister said Government is working on these challenges, and indicated there would be a preferential rate for purchasers of an electric-powered vehicle which is charged overnight.
The Prime Minister declared the Budget will include measures to help youths finding it difficult to rent, and added that pensioners will be a priority and he would increase pensions once again. Dr Muscat further stated that along with these measures, Government would help the disabled, and will be giving added dignity to those who are unable to work.
The Prime Minister said the people should not forget their point of departure, mentioning that seven years ago there existed a situation with an increase in unemployment, electricity bills which were among the highest in Europe, and investors who did not want to know about Malta. Dr Muscat stated that these problems have now all been solved, and identified new problems being faced by the country, among which a shortage of workers.
Dr Muscat stated that over the last seven years Government had doubled the economy, which today produces 14 billion euro per year. The Prime Minister added that the Government would not leave debts, as had been the case in the previous generation, by ensuring that what it proposes will be sustainable over the coming years. Dr Muscat said the Opposition has no clue where it is heading, and whereas Government is looking at future problems, the Nationalist Party is still mired in the past.
The Labour leader declared he was not satisfied with the country’s coordination in the cleansing sector which is shared between various entities, including Councils, the Tourism Authority, the Environment Ministry and the Cleansing Division. Dr Muscat added that a national conference will be organised in the coming days, with the aim of having better coordination in this sector.