Malta u l-politika

Ittri ċċensurati u punti ta' riflessjoni politika.

X'qalu fuq il-budgets Nazzjonalisti

Meta wiehed jigi biex janalizza il-budgets li sena wara l-ohra il-Ministri tal-Finanzi Nazzjonalisti resqu fil-parlament, wiehed irid jibda mill-bidu cioe, jistaqsi lilu nnifsu, n-Nazzjonalisti huma kapaci fil-finanzi tal-pajjiz? F’sezzjoni ohra ta’ din il-website hemm ruxmata ezempji dwar kemm gvernijiet Nazzjonalisti harbtu l-ekonomija Maltija u kemm nefqu l-miljuni bla ghaqal. Hemm bizzejjed provi dwar kemm baghtiet l-ekonomija taht il-PN minhabba n-nuqqas ta’ direzzjoni, jew direzzjonijiet zbaljati u kemm hu car u ezatt il-fatt li l-uniku kapacita Nazzjonalista hija dik li jonfqu minghajr ghaqal u jzidu t-taxxi appuntu biex ipattu ghal dan l-infieq.

 

Il-budgets innifishom diversi drabi huma biss ezercizzju ta’ propaganda u ftahir vojt u qrid dwar kemm il-Gvernijiet Nazzjonalisti ma jistghux jaghmlu mod iehor. Hafna drabi wkoll il-budgets ma wrewx ezatt il-pjan finanzjarju u amministrattiv tal-gvern minhabba li ghal sena wara l-ohra ittiehdu decizjonijiet importanti li ma kienux thabbru fil-budget. Personalment il-budgets Nazzjonalisti ftit naghti kazhom ghax huwa aktar importanti nara x’ser isir fil-fatt matul is-sena milli noqghod fuq l-ippjanar pwerili ta’ Gvern minghajr direzzjoni siewja ghall-pajjiz.

 

F’din il-pagna mhux se nikritika l-budgets jien. Se jikritikawhom sorsi Nazzjonalisti jew individwi u/jew ghaqdiet politikament indipendenti. Il-kritika li se tigi kkwotata hija wahda fattwali, bl-isem tal-individwu jew ghaqda li ghamlet il-kritika u meta fil-fatt saret il-kritika.

 

Se niehu xi whud mill-budgets u mhux il-budgets kollha ghax inkella ma nispicca qatt!!

 

Intant . . .

 

 

Budget 1993

Ministru tal-Finanzi – John Dalli

 

The federation (Federation of Hotels, Pensions and Restaurants) could not understand what it called the "draconian" measures contemplated in the (1993) budget which not only did not protect the tourism sector but endangered it by creating new obstacles... The federation also noted the increase in the stamp duty on the transfer of property and shares and the capital gains tax. These measures had been proposed when the government had repeatedly declared its intention to reduce direct taxes. They could lead to economic stagnation...

The Times 07.12.92

 

The 1993 budget... does not help the tourist industry from changing their opinion that the industry was singled out to be repeatedly bashed... The association could not help feeling frustrated at the bad treatment it received from the government... budget measures were introduced without consultation and the MHRA was being ignored.

Albert Muscat Inglott, president Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association

The Times 18.12.92

 

I feel very strong about the stamp duty on properties being sold to locals being pushed up to 7 per cent and I also feel very strong about the fact that all preliminary agreements signed before the budget should be affected by this new rate of stamp duty. This is most unfair.

Frank Salt

The Sunday Times 06.12.92

 

There was a feeling of shock. The high rate of 7% stamp duty was felt to be excessive and was very unfair on people who had entered into convenia to purchase a property prior to the budget. The 7% provisional capital gains tax, which is still very ambiguous as to its application was also a tremendous blow to many people..."

Frank Salt Vice President Association of Estate Agents

The Sunday Times 17.1.93

 

In this case (Tilwima bejn il-GWU u l-gvern rigward il-budget), the GWU rightly feels its stand has been vindicated. Based on this particular case it is understandable that the GWU accuses the government of failing to hold dialogue and consultations even of matters that effect the public directly.

The Malta Independent (editorjal) 28.3.93

 

 

Budget 1994

Ministru tal-Finanzi – John Dalli

 

The most irksome aspect of the (licence fees) increases is that... they were sprung on the business community without notice, and barely a month after new increases were announced in the 1994 budget... The latest round of government-induced price increases - for, let no one be under any illusion, the new fees will simply be passed on to the consumer who, as usual is expected to foot the bill - of course adds fuel to opposition leader Alfred Sant's argument that the government is itself helping to raise the cost of living while expecting others to keep it down. Dr. Sant points at the increase in telephone and postage rates and higher electricity and water tariffs in support of his contention which becomes more difficult to rebut. After all government, while preaching fair trading and price restraint, is exploiting to the full its monopoly position as supplier of utilities, and imposing taxes at will, the net result of which is to stultify any cost-of-living wage increases.

The Sunday Times (editorjal) 16.1.94

 

The General Workers Union, and especially its secretary general, Mr. Anglu Fenech, has good reason to claim victory in its dispute with the government over its cost-of-living claims. The agreement... seems to vindicate the tactics adopted by the GWU... The agreement has undoubtedly strengthened the General Workers Union's hand, and boosted Mr. Fenech's standing... The measures announced in the agreement could easily have been taken in the context of the 1994 budget, thus avoiding recriminations and unnecessary confrontation... It is undeniable that certain utility charges and other measures - such as the steep increase in police trading licences, which ultimately the consumer would have to pay - do have a bearing on the cost of living.

The Sunday Times (editorjal) 06.2.1994

 

Dwar il-budget, id-deputat nazzjonalista (John Vella) qal li l-budget ipprezentat mill-gvern ghas-sena d-diehla hu wiehed differenti minn tas-snin ta’ qabel. Hu budget li jhares b’visjoni lejn il-futur.

In-Nazzjon Taghna 21.12.93

 

 

Budget 1995

Ministru tal-Finanzi – John Dalli

 

The spend-more aspect of the 1995 budget is a worrying one.

The Times (editorjal) 25.11.94

 

On a very rough rule of thumb... every man, woman and child has a debt of around Lm2000 appended to his name (when working out government's debt of between Lm750m and Lm780m) Malta is now on an annual pattern of budget deficits that is fuelling public debt.

The Times (editorjal) 17.2.95

 

 

Budget 1996

Ministru tal-Finanzi – John Dalli

 

Apparently up until this year the (budget) money had just not been available. It took a great deal of negotiating and fist banging on table tops to get it.

Dr. Michael Frendo Minister of Transport

Tune-In magazine Gunju 1996

 

 

Budget 1997

Ministru tal-Finanzi – John Dalli

 

The ludicrous thing was not only that the Nationalist Government failed to make an imaginative pre-election budget but that it failed to make a budget at all.

Economists

The Sunday Times 17.11.96

 

 

Budget 2000

Ministru tal-Finanzi – John Dalli

 

Constituted bodies yesterday criticized Finance Minister John Dalli for calling a Malta Council for Economic Development meeting on the budget only at the eleventh hour.

The Times 16.11.99

 

The GRTU was unimpressed by the budget saying it had failed to address the country’s current economic situation and did not offer incentives for foreign investment.

The Times 24.11.99

 

… many (this newspaper among them) have disagreed with some features of the 2000 budget – particularly the increase in income tax

The Sunday Times (editorjal) 30.4.2000

 

He (Dr. Eddie Fenech Adami) said he was not surprised by the effects of the budget, but a budget was the government’s political programme and was not up for negotiation.

The Times 26.4.2000

 

UHM president said that the government, through its budget, had addressed the problem of the financial deficit at the expense of the workers.

The Times 3.3.2000

 

The government believed that the measures were painful.

Dr. Eddie Fenech Adami

The Times 26.1.2000

 

UHM secretary general said the measures introduced in the budget would be a burden on workers and other salaried employees.

The Times 24.11.99

 

The budget measures are eating away at workers’ purchasing power.

UHM

The Times 19.1.2000

 

Federation of industry described the budget as one with a good sense of direction but with a bad choice of priorities.

The Times 24.11.99

 

The  budget was austere on the consumer.

The Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association

The Times 26.11.99

 

Average wage earners worst hit by budget.

UHM

The Times 26.11.99

 

The induced costs from the budget were expected to have an overall negative effect on the insurance business.

Malta Insurance Association

The Times 3.12.99

 

Il-budget 2000 zgur li mhux budget popolari ghax huwa wiehed iebes u jolqot hafna nies. Il-Gens (editorjal) 26.11.99

 

Last year’s budget consisted almost exclusively of tax increases. There were no incentives for growth and no cuts in government expenditure. Furthermore it was the middle class which… bore the brunt of the tax increases, due mainly to the fact that income tax was raised.

The Malta Independent on Sunday (editorjal) 19.11.2000

 

Dr. Fenech Adami admitted that people were not praising him because the government had raised income tax.

The Sunday Times 5.12.99

 

It would be unrealistic not to admit that budget 2000 ... contains a dose of austerity that will hit the middle class (making up the bulk of taxpayers) harder than expected. One also cannot really dispute the fact that some of the measures announced in the budget will mean – at least in the short term – a reduction in disposable income and some inflationary pressure on prices ... In the short term, the average taxpayer will not only have to pay more income tax next year, but also a higher national insurance contribution and spend more on cigarettes, fuel and Maltese bread.

The Sunday Times (editorjal) 28.11.99

 

The government has to get its money from somewhere but the decision to raise income tax was surely a mistake.

The Malta Independent on Sunday (editorjal) 28.11.99

 

Admittedly, this was a tough budget.

Austin Sammut

The Malta Independent on Sunday 28.11.99

 

Yes, people are feeling the pain ... One would be a fool to think that the pain does not exist, or that the people are not angry, one would be a bigger fool to think it is only the supporters of the opposition who are hurting.

The Malta Independent (editorjal) 25.3.2000

 

It is difficult to imagine a ruling party actually gaining votes after introducing a budget just a few months ago which not only increased indirect taxes considerably, but, for the first time since independence, reduced the pay packet of a huge section of the electorate by increasing income tax.

The Malta Independent on Sunday 19.3.2000

 

Once again, the middle classes are being squeezed. They were already badly hit by last November’s budget. How much more can they take?

The Malta Independent on Sunday (editorjal) 27.8.2000

 

A government whose budgetary measures hurt many of its supporters ...

The Times (editorjal) 15.3.2000

 

The last budget did not  in any way tax sectors that were really in a position to cope with the burden.

Alfred Mallia Milanes (director-general Malta Employers Association)

The Times 21.8.2000

 

 

Budget 2001

Ministru tal-Finanzi – John Dalli

 

Why the new regulations (tax on fringe benefits) covering this tax should be so draconian, so clean sweeping and so rigid is hard to understand … the way the government went about it is simply wrong … a whole sector of the population, mainly middle class executives, will receive a cut in their net take home pay for the second year running … we must not forget that last year income tax was raised … there will also be negative economic repercussions … on the macro level, less cash in hand is likely to aggravate an already bad cash flow situation.

The Malta Independent on Sunday (editorjal) 4.3.2001

 

Mube describes budget as discriminatory against bank employees.

The Malta Independent 24.11.2000

 

The leader of the opposition may be technically right when he criticizes this budget for having done little for pensioners.

Marisa Micallef Leyson

The Sunday Times 10.12.2000

 

Malta association of travel agents expresses concern over budget introduction of VAT on air tickets sold by travel agents.

The Times 23.11.2000

 

(Taxxa fuq fringe benefits) … government plans appeared to discriminate against and adversely affect the services industry in particular.

Chamber of Commerce

The Times 8.12.2000

 

The government’s decision to extensively tax (fringe benefits) is wrong, dishonest and unfair for a number of reasons. … For the second year running, the take-home pay of thousands of salaried people is to decrease. … The government has decided to go for the easy target, the salaried middle classes.

The Malta Independent on Sunday (editorjal) 26.11.2000

 

Budget 2001 is bad news.

Vincent Farrugia, director-general GRTU

The Sunday Times 3.12.2000

 

There is plenty to criticize about this budget, most especially the tax increases, once again on the middle classes and the government’s failure to attempt to reduce its expenditure.

The Malta Independent on Sunday (editorjal) 3.12.2000

 

 

Budget 2002

Ministru tal-Finanzi – John Dalli

 

The Chairman of the National Commission on Welfare Reforms says he was not consulted by finance minister John Dalli over the proposals made in the 2002 budget on reform in the social security system.

The Times 23.11.2001

 

 

Budget 2004

Ministru tal-Finanzi – John Dalli

 

It is a dull man who cannot see that this year’s budget will be a tough one.

Roamer

The Sunday Times 12.10.2003

 

It is a singular mark of weakness that government is giving the country so many mixed signals in the run up to Budget Day.

The Malta Independent (editorjal) 31.10.2003

 

MHRA president Winston Zahra described the tourism situation as very worrying and he expressed doubts over the methods being used by the National Statistics Office to compile tourism figures. Bookings for winter together with the budget proposals would offer little reprieve to the sector, Mr Zahra said.

The Times 7.11.2003

 

Labour leader Alfred Sant is right when he says that the forthcoming budget is a test for the government rather than for the opposition, as the prime minister would like it to be. Dr Sant is also correct when he insists the government must give a credible account of its performance, especially so far as expenditure goes.

The Times (editorjal) 14.11.2003

 

58% of those surveyed in a poll carried out on behalf of The Sunday Times said they were 'badly affected' by the Budget for 2004, and a surprisingly high 71.3% do not think that its measures will solve the deficit problem. … 71.3% of those surveyed do not think the Budget will succeed in tackling the deficit problem. … A majority (63.7%) think it (budget) will not increase employment opportunities.

The Sunday Times 7.12.2003

 

He (Josie Muscat) stressed that the budget will fail to heal the (health) sector because "the government has the wrong diagnosis of the patient, and it is giving him the wrong medicine".

The Times 9.12.2003

 

The reaction to the measures announced in the Budget has been generally negative. While there is consensus that the deficit problem must be tackled and brought under control … there is widespread disagreement with the way Government has gone about trying to do this.

The Sunday Times (editorjal) 7.12.2003

 

Government could not help being accused of meanness when raising the portion of pensions paid by the elderly in Government-run homes to 80 per cent, from 60 per cent, when this had been the target of the (then) Nationalist Opposition's criticism during a Labour administration.

The Sunday Times (editorjal) 7.12.2003

 

The measure which has been most strongly criticised is the VAT increase.

The Sunday Times (editorjal) 7.12.2003

 

The Federation of Industries said in a statement yesterday it is disappointed about the uninspiring strategy and content of the Budget proposals presented last week by the minister of finance.

The Malta Independent on Sunday 7.12.2003

 

The government is showing misjudgment and incompetence, as last year's optimistic

economic forecast with regard to the budget deficit has proven to be way off target by Lm33 million.

Harry Vassallo AD Chairman

The Times 25.11.2003

 

Dr Vassallo also said that the budget failed to tackle the pressing social and environmental needs which the country is facing. In particular, he mentioned the fact that the government is looking at cut backs in key areas such as health centres to make up for the gross mismanagement of public funds in the construction of the new Mater Dei Hospital.

The Times 25.11.2003

 

Five employers' associations sharply criticised the increase in VAT, arguing that it will both erode disposable income and also raise their expenses as the cost of living increases that would be given as a result would not be linked to productivity.

The Times 25.11.2003

 

Mr (Vince) Farrugia (GRTU Director General) said the budget was "short of economic logic".

The Times 25.11.2003

 

We need a bigger economy but nothing has been done to stimulate it," Mr Fava (Malta Employers Association) said.

The Times 25.11.2003

 

The Malta Union of Teachers said yesterday the three percentage rise in VAT would push up the cost of living "in every aspect".

The Times 26.11.2003

 

The National Youth Council deems the budget measure to increase tax on imported second hand cars as being too drastic.

The Times 27.11.2003

 

The budget "lacks true commitment to the environment", Greenpeace Mediterranean said.

The Times 26.11.2003

 

Alternattiva Demokratika described the 2004 budget as one lacking in social justice especially in the adoption of across the board fiscal measures like the VAT increase to 18 per cent. The budget also exposed the incompetence of the government in meeting its own targets to decrease the country's deficit. Also, Dr Vassallo added, the budget failed to tackle pressing social and environmental needs which the country was facing. Regarding the environment, Dr Vassallo said that the government once again has failed to address the urgent realities of Malta's worsening environmental situation.

The Times 27.11.2003

 

The Malta and Gozo Restaurants Association said a further increase in the VAT rate on tourism would deliver a death blow to the industry.

The Times 21.11.2003

 

The 2004 budget revealed the new austerity and reform measures will be characterising Malta’s development from now on.

MaltaToday (editorjal) 28.12.2003

 

The indirect tax measures announced in the latest Budget will lead to a rise in inflation. The Malta Independent 20.2.2004

 

The inheritance tax as applied consequent to the last budget has created ill feelings in certain quarters.

Mario de Marco MP

The Times 25.6.2004

 

(the government) is still struggling to keep to the financial targets it set in the last budget. The Times (editorjal) 30.10.2004

 

 

Budget 2005

Ministru tal-Finanzi – Dr. Lawrence Gonzi

 

The majority of respondents in a survey conducted by Malta Polls on behalf of the PBS programme Xarabank felt that the budget had an overall negative effect on them. Of the 56.4 per cent who thought the budget affected them badly, 45.9 per cent said the budget affected them "negatively" and 10.5 per cent replied that the effect was "very negative".

The Times 4.12.2004

 

Regular readers of this column will not be surprised to hear that over the past days I have been inundated with complaints on the budget measure relating to departure tax.

Dr. Simon Busuttil MEP

The Times 8.12.2004

 

The Medical Association of Malta yesterday took the government to task on a number of measures proposed in the budget speech.

The Times 2.12.2004

 

The Consumers' Association said next year's budget was burdening consumers without showing any sign that the economy would grow at a satisfactory rate to mitigate some of the burdens placed on them.

The Times 2.12.2004

 

Four unions representing over 1,800 workers within Air Malta called on the government to do away with the proposed travel tax of Lm10 and have written to Prime Minister, Dr Lawrence Gonzi, calling for discussions on alternative sources of revenue. This was revealed at a press conference held outside Castille and addressed by Airline Pilots Association secretary Joseph Gatt. The other three unions within Air Malta who were present for the press conference are the General Workers Union, the Union of Cabin Crew and the Association of Airline Engineers.

The Malta Independent 1.12.2004

 

The Studenti Demokristjani Maltin have criticised the Lm10 rise in the air departure tax, saying it hampered students who regularly travelled abroad to study and participate in international fora.

The Times 1.12.2004

 

The National Fish Cooperative yesterday described the budget for 2005 as weak, adding that the government showed that it was weak with those who abuse the law and powerful with those who go by the book.

The Malta Independent on Sunday 28.11.2004

 

The Alliance of Pensioners' Associations said yesterday it was difficult to explain to pensioners how they would have to pay at least 50c a week for the surcharge on water and electricity and an average of 23c to cover the increase in paraffin which many elderly people use for heaters.

The Times 27.11.2004

 

The CMTU took objection to measures like the surcharge in electricity, the increase in public transport fares and the decision to eliminate from the vacation leave those public holidays which fell on a weekend.

The Times 26.11.2004

 

The Malta Chamber of Small and Medium Enterprise - GRTU said yesterday the measures introduced in the budget were too few to strengthen the economy and effectively boost competitiveness.

The Times 26.11.2004

 

It was a pity, however, that the budget, which was trying to lift the country out of its serious difficulties, was marred by austerity measures that negatively affected the workers in general, the MUT said.

The Times 26.11.2004

 

Travel agents have lambasted the additional Lm10 tax on outgoing travel announced in Wednesday's budget, which makes the Maltese the highest taxed air passengers in Europe, if not the world.

The Times 26.11.2004

 

The (UHM) union also hit out at the government's decision to increase the public transport bus fares; the increase in the price of kerosene; the passenger departure tax and the 17 per cent charge on the consumption of water and electricity.

The Times 25.11.2004

 

The hard bits to stomach are the loss of four days leave for many workers and the Lm10 extra travel tax that has to be paid.

Dr. Michael Asciak, Nationalist MP

The Times 9.12.2004

 

The Chamber of Commerce and Enterprise … expressed doubts in regard to the potential effectiveness of measures relating to innovation, research and raising the female participation rate in the labour market. … the chamber said no fiscal measures were taken to increase the purchasing power. This, besides the mechanism to compensate retroactively for cost of living increases which has a dual-effect: it boosts the nominal income of workers and beneficiaries which goes to support nominal demand and, the same time, it has a negative effect on labour costs and competition unless it is complemented by an improvement in productivity. … it is socially unjust for the tax-abiding portion of the population to continue to pay dearly for the dishonesty of others. To this end, the chamber suggested alterations in the current taxation policy to render tax evasion less viable. … It expressed disappointment at the government's failure to address the situation related to pre-1995 rent agreements. It said it could not condone the decision to increase the departure tax on air travel originating from Malta.

The Times 10.12.2004

 

Budget price hikes will negatively affect the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises, according to the Federation of Malta Hotels, Pensions and Catering Establishments (FMHPCE).

The Sunday Times 12.12.2004

 

The 2005 Budget has shown one thing. We have lost a year in embarking on the reforms we should be undertaking.

John Dalli

The Sunday Times 12.12.2004

 

GRTU director general Vince Farrugia said the government had made “a big mistake” when raising the price of kerosene so as to curb abuse. He argued that the figures the government was given on the domestic use of kerosene were “completely incorrect”. “Had we been consulted, we could have given the government detailed records of domestic sales of kerosene.” … “I consider this increase as the ugly face of bureaucracy,” Mr Farrugia said.

The Times 15.12.2004

 

Overall, the budget would contribute to a decrease in the purchasing power of the middle and working classes for the second consecutive year after last year’s three per cent increase in VAT.

Alternattiva Demokratika

The Malta Independent 20.12.2004

 

The sharp rise in the cost of flour coupled with the higher price of paraffin has plunged bakers into turmoil.

The Times 21.12.2004

 

Budget measures … have already stirred widespread controversy.

The Times (editorjal) 4.1.2005

 

 

Budget 2006

Ministru tal-Finanzi – Dr. Lawrence Gonzi

 

The Malta Institute of Management said the budget needed to be seen in a wider context than the budget speech itself. … The institute said it was particularly concerned with the “apparent discriminatory capping” that the government had introduced in favour of certain business sectors and not others. In spite of the capping, the utility rate increase would have a negative impact, it said.

The Times 2.11.2005

 

The Assocjazzjoni Hwienet Wied il-Ghajn … said that with the increase in the surcharge on water and electricity, the total expenses of certain shops were set to increase by 11 per cent, excluding the stipulated wage increases. Complaining of discrimination, the association argued that capping on electricity bills should have been introduced for shop owners as well. The budget, it lamented, contained no plan to embellish Marsascala or maintain the promenade.

The Times 2.11.2005

 

Alternattiva Demokratika's chairman Harry Vassallo characterised the budget as one with “a limited vision for the immense economic challenges the country faces” … AD said nothing concrete was announced for small and medium-sized enterprises.

The Times 1.11.2005

 

FOI president Adrian Bajada said … on the issue of the cost of living increase… the federation was very worried about the impact this will have on the country, already struggling in the competitiveness rating. Tied with this, there is the issue of the raising of the power surcharge capping to Lm21,000. A simple calculation will show that a company that spends Lm38,180 on electricity will be paying Lm21,000 in surcharge which means that a large number of companies will be hit by this measure. “All this will have a bearing on the country's competitiveness and we are very concerned about this.” The Times 1.11.2005

 

The Chamber (of Commerce) … like the other employers, was concerned about the cost of living increase, primarily because it was not tied to productivity and because it would continue to undermine competitiveness.

The Times 1.11.2005

 

The budget presented yesterday by Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi in his capacity as Minister of Finance does not propose any new taxes or increase existing ones. But that does not mean it is all a bed of roses.

The Times (editorjal) 1.11.2005

 

Budget ‘fails to address important issues’ – Gozo Business Chamber.

The Malta Independent 4.11.2005

 

The federation warned that the measures as presented by the government will endanger the future of enterprise growth. In this respect, the FOI strongly appealed to the government to reconsider the capping instrument.

The Times 5.11.2005

 

Just over half, or 51.2 per cent, of respondents to a survey carried out by Malta Polls on behalf of the television programme Xarabank said they were affected negatively or very negatively by the budget for 2006.A quarter, 25.2 per cent, said they were neither affected positively nor negatively, and 5.7 per cent said they were not affected by the budget. A mere 10.5 per cent said the effect of the budget was positive or very positive and 7.5 per cent were undecided.

The Times 5.11.2005

 

Nearly half (45 per cent) of those responding to a The Times online poll believe the measures announced in last Monday's budget were positive. Roughly a third (30 per cent) gave the thumbs down to the budget measures, answering that they were "negative", and a quarter dismissed them as "futile".

The Times 5.11.2005

 

The budget provided no incentive for economic growth …  -  Joe Grioli, (The Malta Business Weekly business breakfast - Le Meridien Phoenicia)

The Times 19.11.2005

 

Nationalist MP John Dalli also spoke at yesterday’s sitting and claimed that the budget changes made with regard to property tax do not make sense and added that the patching done only worsened the situation. He said the amendments generate discrimination against those who buy property, as opposed to those who inherit it. … Mr Dalli claimed that “the amendments will throw us backwards.” He said that the changes made, have the opposite effect of those that have been declared. Mr Dalli explained he already made these statements in internal PN fora, but felt the need to voice his opinion in parliament.

The Malta Independent 17.1.2006

 

 

Budget 2007

Ministru tal-Finanzi – Dr. Lawrence Gonzi

 

Alternattiva Demokratika thinks the government should review the taxation measures announced in the budget with a view to relieving small businesses and imposing heavier taxes on banks instead. … Dr (Harry) Vassallo said half of the Lm12 million the government had set aside for tax cuts should be allocated to families with children, translating into a cash benefit of Lm100 for each child. “In this way, a family raising two children with an income of Lm6,000 a year will be guaranteed a benefit of at least Lm200 rather than the miserly Lm30 being offered by the government,” Dr Vassallo said. The other Lm6 million, he added, should be given as a tax deduction.

The Times 23.10.2006

 

“It is unfortunate that it (Government) has once again taken an “old style” approach and has not stimulated and encouraged the efforts made by NGOs and private enterprise. The budget itself contradicts the government's vision on education and the claim that it appreciates the efforts of the private sector. The government has once again failed to review the tax laws and the anomalies within them that are hindering investment in education by the private sector.” MIM said it is disappointed to note the government has postponed real tax reform once again. … With respect to the Venture Capital Fund, the MIM believes that, once again, the government has failed to understand the issue on access to finance and what is needed to really launch such a fund. … MIM regrets to note that the government has not taken appropriate measures in the light of the introduction of the euro. – Malta Institute of Management

The Times 19.10.2006

 

The government has insisted on an across-the-board income tax reduction despite the hardship faced by families with young children specially targeted for assistance in the Green proposals. Dr Vassallo remarked that the reduction of the tax burden on SMEs proposed by the Greens has not been taken up nor has the government had the courage to increase taxation for banks. Proposals on the environment lack any real imagination and seem to be a perfunctory gesture to attempt to put a green façade to the budget. Dr Vassallo referred to the fact that once again the government is backtracking on commitments it had made in the past to start working on rent reform. The absence of any mention of this crucial issue is glaring by its absence, he said. – Dr. Harry Vassallo Alternattiva Demokratika Chairman

The Times 19.10.2006

 

The president of the Federated Association of Travel and Tourism Agents, Ian Tonna, said the reduction (Departure Tax) was a step in the right direction but it was clearly not enough.

The Times 20.10.2006

 

The association (Association of Shops in Marsascala) expressed disappointment that the government had again totally ignored the issues affecting tourism in certain localities, such as the fish farms and the waste recycling plant in the Marsascala area.

The Times 20.10.2006

 

Judging by the measures announced in budget 2007, it seems that it is not the government’s priority that the Mater Dei hospital will open next year as previously announced, said the Medical Association of Malta (MAM) yesterday. … MAM observed that no realistic measures were proposed to tackle the serious problem of medical manpower shortages that afflicts the service. Indeed, the budget will undoubtedly convince more doctors to leave our shores.

The Malta Independent 21.10.2006

 

The National Association of Pensioners said yesterday that it is surprised that the many suggestions/submissions aimed at improving pensioners’ interests have been ignored in the budget. … The association said it is unfortunate that the tax rebate differentiates between couples and single people, to the detriment of couples with a pension of Lm5,300 per annum. For a single person, the rebate is Lm118 per annum and for a couple it is Lm30. … The association also noted that the government has failed to make any commitment with regard to free health care, in line with declarations made to the EU in the report on social inclusion. “The general allusion made to pension reform in the budget speech is worrying as it seems to indicate that government has no intention of further consultation with pensioners’ associations on its proposals for the reform,” said the association.

The Malta Independent 26.10.2006

 

Gozo deserved greater attention in the latest budget said head of the AD party Dr. Harry Vassallo.

SLIEMA, Malta (di-ve news)-- October 29, 2006-- 1515CET

 

Surveyed a couple of days (October 19-21) after the presentation of the 2007 Budget … As many as 80% do not consider the effective cost of living adjustment of Lm1.75 a week to be enough to cope with the cost of living; 17.3% say it is enough, and 2.7% gave no opinion.

The Sunday Times 29.10.2006

 

Alternattiva Demokratika Chairperson Dr. Harry Vassallo criticised the government for failing to mention public transport in the Budget. Speaking at a press conference on Sunday morning, Vassallo said that by failing to mention public transport in the Budget, the government has acknowledged its own failure and lack of vision.

SLIEMA, Malta (di-ve news)--November 05, 2006 - 1025CET

 

Dr Arnold Cassola (The Sunday Times, October 29) was rightly critical of the lack of renewable energy (RE) provisions in the 2007 Budget. The 2006 edition looked better; but, in fact, little has materialised in the RE field as a result of its provisions.

Professor Edward A. Mallia

The Sunday Times 12.11.2006

 

Minkejja l-miżuri li ħa fil-baġit biex jibda jtaffi mill-piż li twikkew bih il-familji f’dawn l-aħħar snin, jidher ċar li n-nies ma rrispondewx b’mod pożittiv. Hemm tliet fatturi ewlenin għalfejn il-baġit ta’ Gonzi ma ħalliex l-impatt mixtieq. L-ewwel fattur hu ż-żidiet fil-pagamenti għal self fuq djar li sofrew ħafna familji s-sena li għaddiet u fil-bidu ta’ din is-sena. Il-flus żejda li suppost raw fil-pagi tagħhom minn Jannar dawn il-familji żvintaw f’pagamenti ogħla mitluba mill-banek. It-tieni fattur hu l-għoli tal-prezzijiet speċjalment wara l-2004 meta għoliet il-VAT u ddaħħlet fuq firxa usa ta’ prodotti. Minn dakinhar sal-lum iddaħħlu wkoll l-eko kontribuzzjoni, is-sisa fuq it-telefonija ċellulari u s-soprataxxa fuq il-kontijiet tad-dawl u l-ilma li komplew għollew il-ħajja. Ħafna raw il-valur tal-paga tagħhom jonqos u għadhom sal-lum iwasslu sa l-aħħar tax-xahar bil-ħniena. Iżda t-tielet fattur, l-iktar wieħed li għandu jinkwieta lill-PN, hu li ħafna nies xebgħu jaraw l-istess uċuh fil-kuriduri tal-poter. Hemm l-għatx għall-bidla. Bidla fl-istil ta’ kif issir il-politika, bidla fl-uċuh, fl-attitudni u fil-mod ta’ kif ikunu indirizzati l-aspirazzjonijiet tan-nies. Forsi din l-ikbar uġigħ ta’ ras li għandu Gonzi fix-xhur li ġejjin.

Editorjal, Illum 18.3.2007

 

Tlettax fil-mija biss tan-nies qed jgħixu aħjar wara l-baġit ippreżentat f’Ottubru li għadda … 83 fil-mija tal-Maltin mhux qed iħossuhom jgħixu aħjar minkejja d-diversi stqarrijiet tal-Prim Ministru Lawrence Gonzi li l-Maltin qed jgħixu aħjar. Anki fost dawk li jissimpatizzaw mal-Partit Nazzjonalista hemm maġġoranza ta’ 55 fil-mija li ma rat l-ebda titjib fil-ħajja tagħha wara l-baġit.

ILLUM, 8.4.2007

 

 

Budget 2008

Ministru tal-Finanzi – Dr. Lawrence Gonzi

 

The organisations (Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association, the Federation of Industry, the Chamber of Commerce and Enterprise and the Malta Employers' Association) … expressed their disappointment to the fact that the government once again opted to ignore their representations within the MCESD, to honour the agreement which was reached on the cost of living increase, by awarding an additional Lm1/€23 million in advance of next year.

VALLETTA, Malta (di-ve news) -- October 15, 2007 -- 2315CEST

 

Alternattiva Demokratika (AD) … is disappointing to note that Government ignored a number of serious problems affecting the country, AD chairperson Harry Vassallo said. … the AD chairperson went on, the Government has once again buried its head in the sand and failed to address other serious problems in the country. With reference to the surcharge, Dr. Vassallo said that the Government could have given an incentive to reduce consumption by introducing a differentiated rate of surcharge according to the consumption. He also referred to the public transport system, which he said causes serious problems particularly through pollution and traffic congestion. The fact that Government ignored the issue undermines much of the rhetoric in favour of the environment in the Budget, Dr. Vassallo said. The AD chairperson was also critical of the fact that the Government also failed to reform the rent law, and pointed out that the housing measures announced in the budget do not address the serious problem of high property prices. Dr. Vassallo also pointed out that small companies are still going to be taxed as much as large companies that have a monopoly in the market… In concluding, Dr. Vassallo said that one has to see whether the increases allocated to certain sectors are enough, citing as an example the Lm6million increase in the health sector which he claimed was not even enough to cover the expenditure on medicines.

VALLETTA, Malta (di-ve news) -- October 16, 2007 -- 1155CEST

 

Mr Pace (president of the Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses) said he would have liked the government to take certain measures with regard to public feasts falling on weekends. Measures taken on breast screening should be open not just to women at high risk but to all those women on the waiting list.

The Malta Independent 16.10.2007

 

It is clear that the government, a few months before an election, is trying to please as many people as it can, by showering crumbs to a lot of people. … In spite of Dr Gonzi’s self proclamations, Gozitans are not feeling any better, thus showing that the prime minister is out of touch with the Gozitans. This is also happening in Malta. This budget also lacks incentives for the country to keep its traditional family model, thus prompting people to choose alternative lifestyles, such as staying single or cohabiting.

Josie Muscat, The Malta Independent 16.10.2007

 

The only negative point I can mention is the ILO’s proposal on public holidays as this should have been heeded,” Mr Bencini (Malta Union of Teachers president) said.

The Malta Independent 16.10.2007

 

The government’s decision to anticipate next year’s cost of living adjustment (COLA) to this year is not a solution in itself. This will not be enough to avert the expected rise in the price of cereals. It may smoothen things up from this year to the next; however, the rise in price must be averted through an increase in income.

Ekonomista Gordon Cordina (Adviser to the Federation of Industry)

The Malta Independent 16.10.2007

 

If the situation was that happy financially, why have families been allowed to make so many sacrifices these past weeks, with not much help from a government that had such largesse at its disposal. Could not the government, only weeks ago, have absorbed, for instance, the bakers’ request for a price increase, instead of passing half of that burden on to already-burdened taxpayers?

Editorjal, The Malta Independent 16.10.2007

 

Mr (Albert) Tabone (chairman of the Alliance of Pensioner Organisations) said he was surprised that no attention had been given to the removal of anomalies in the Social Security Act that affected pensioners. There was also no mention of the guaranteed minimum national pension at 60 per cent of the median income.

The Times 17.10.2007

 

The Local Councils' Association is questioning why Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi did not make any reference to local councils in his budget speech. The association pointed out that it had sent its opinions regarding the pre-budget document but never received a reply from the government.

The Times 17.10.2007

 

It (Malta Institute of Management) said it was disappointed that stipends were not extended to persons studying on a part-time basis. “Malta should encourage education in all its forms and not in one particular sector. Part-time study has been fundamental over the years and has become critical for furthering one's education and for personal and professional development. It seems that Malta does not recognise the importance of this method of study.”

The Times 17.10.2007

 

It (Malta Union of Teachers) expressed disappointment that the government still refused to allow public holidays falling on weekends to be added to employees' leave entitlement. The Times 17.10.2007

 

Moviment Graffiti pointed out at the lack of measures with regards to workers on minimum wage, single-parent families and cohabitating partners. The Movement also noted that more radical changes are needed to make housing more affordable whilst energy surcharge should progressively increase for wasteful energy use.

VALLETTA, Malta (di-ve news) -- October 17, 2007 -- 1725CEST

 

The budget measures on housing were of no use to young couples buying a home when one took into account the fact that there were 53,136 vacant properties, Alternattiva Demokratika (AD) chairman Harry Vassallo said yesterday …Dr Vassallo said the Budget measures … were aimed at helping speculators keeping property prices high.

The Sunday Times 21.10.2007

 

The F.O.I. noted that a number of measures that it had suggested in the pre-Budget consultation phase aimed at lowering energy costs to industry and the rest of the economy by introducing incentives for a more rational utilisation of resources were not taken up. The need for these measures is likely to become more pronounced in the coming months with the ongoing increase in international price of oil.

The Sunday Times 21.10.2007

 

AN Deputy Leader Angelo Xuereb also criticised the budget, saying it did not address the most important things the country needs such as measures to boost democracy, the creation of a one-stop-shop for entrepreneurs and measures to curb abuses.

The Times 22.10.2007

 

It was pathetic to hear the government's budget proposal to assist first-time (property) buyers, when there was clearly no shortage of supply.

Dr. Harry Vassallo (Alternattiva Demokratika)

The Times 29.10.2007

 

Zminijietna … believes that the budget did not do enough to meet the daily needs of workers and their families. The compensation for the cost of living was definitely not enough, and the minimum wage was not increased. The adjustment to income tax bands will not compensate enough and would have been fairer to groups such as lower middle and middle income earners if they were given more relief, while at the same time financing this through increased taxation on the wealthy and on companies making windfall profits such as banks and gaming companies. The budget should also have done more to help bring about affordable housing since although the proposals to subsidise house loans are positive measures, these are not considered to be enough to help groups like first-time buyers with low income to acquire a property of their own. The budget should also have reduced the energy surcharge while encouraging the sustainable use of energy in a progressive way. We believe that the budget fails to tackle the exploitative situations emerging such as those faced by various categories of workers, including workers on definite contract, and those created for many students by the streaming system. Also family-friendly measures such as availability of affordable childcare centres, entitlement of income-tax revisions to partners in cohabitation, and increased assistance to genuine single parents were not introduced. We also believe that the budget should have given more importance to public transport and similar areas.

The Times 29.10.2007

 

The Budget speech was full of empty promises on Gozo as it steered clear of tackling topics such as the controversial proposed developments at Ramla L-Hamra and Ta' Cenc, Alternattiva Demokratika (AD), chairman Harry Vassallo said. “Although in his Budget speech the Prime Minister acknowledges that Gozo is an island with unique potential and opportunities, the speech was full of empty promises, of which Gozitans have already heard enough,” he said.

The Sunday Times 28.10.2007

 

Jekk wieħed ineħħi l-ftaħir mill-baġit ftit li xejn isib sugu. Il-problemi reali li stqarrhom il-Prim Ministru stess bħall-immigrazzjoni illegali u t-tarzna ma tax ħjiel ta’ kif se jsolvihom. Investimenti ġodda ma jissemmewx għax Smart City għadu proġett fuq il-karta u jtul seba’ snin. Li hu żgur hu li s’issa swielna ħafna. Il-PM semma biss żewġ fabbriki li kibru iżda l-ebda waħda ġdida. Semma żieda fit-turiżmu iżda mhux fin-nefqa tat-turisti li baqgħet bħas-snin ta’ qabel. Li trodd lura lin-nies ftit milli tkun ħaddtilhom hi xi ħaġa ġusta iżda tkun ferm aħjar jekk toħdilhom mill-anqas, milli tqaxxarhom biex imbagħad iċ-ċittadin jara flusu mberbqa, mitlufa, misruqa u abbużati billi jintefqu fi proġetti li jiġu jiswew ferm aktar milli jkunu stmati fil-bidu.

Josie Muscat, ILLUM 28.10.2007

 

Only the colour blind would describe the budget just approved by Parliament as a green budget. Labelling it “the greenest”, as has been suggested by Environment Minister George Pullicino (The Greenest Budget Ever, October 22) is downright ridiculous.

Carmel Cacopardo, The Times 3.11.2007

 

 

Budget 2009

Ministru tal-Finanzi – Tonio Fenech

 

The Malta Employers’ Association has described Budget 2009 as ‘bland’, saying that the measures were spread too thinly “The government clearly went for range rather than depth. Therefore there are no real spectacular measures and the overall result tends to be rather bland. The real question is: Will the proposed measures be sufficient to ward off a major economic slowdown?” it asked.

by di-ve.com - [email protected]

Current Affairs -- 04 November 2008 -- 09:20CEST

 

“We expected a bolder budget but this is a very cautious budget: A reflection of the local situation in which the government finances were not as sound as they were being described,” GRTU director general, Mr Vince Farrugia said. He added that during the past year “expenses had really shot up,” with no good consequences for the country.

The Malta Independent 4.11.2008

 

(Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association President Kevin Decesare) expressed his uncertainty regarding the EUR 0.50 charge on tourists as from the year 2010. This was to leave an extra income of EUR 5 million for the government. This meant a charge of EUR 20 for a family of four persons staying in Malta for 10 days. Although an EUR 20 charge did not appear to be much it may lead tourists to opt for competing destinations especially in times when the work was not going on well.

The Malta Independent 4.11.2008

 

The government’s proposals regarding changes in Income Tax are, quite frankly, a sop. Once the government was not in a position to fully implement what it promised in the election campaign, it made no sense to give this very small and pale imitation. Equally very difficult to accept is the reduction in excise duties on spirits at a time when alcoholism and binge drinking are undermining the young generation. And the very funny proposal that sees licences for sweet water swimming pools go up from e2.43 to e4 while those for sea water swimming pools go up from e58.23 to e100!

Editorjal, The Malta Independent 4.11.2008

 

Malta Employers' Association director general, Joe Farrugia, said … “There is too little on a lot of subjects, which will not have an immediate and significant impact. For example, wind farms are a welcome idea, but will not address today's immediate problems.” … Mr Farrugia added that while the budget addressed the creation of jobs through start-up schemes, for example, it “might lack immediate measures for job creation.”

The Times online 4.11.2008

 

Budget 2009 may have included revisions to the income tax bands - a pleasant surprise for those who had given up on them – but it left out a number of measures that had been put forward in the pre-budget document released in summer. For example, what happened to the removal of credit card levies and TV licences? The pre-budget document declared that the €16.31 annual levy on credit cards – a levy introduced by the Labour government in 1998, it reminds us – is going to be removed. A finance ministry spokesman confirmed that the levy generated around €1.7 million in annual revenue. This figure was on the increase, as the number of credit cards in circulation increased dramatically from around 94,000 in 2001 to over 120,000 in 2005. The removal of the €34.94 annual TV licence fee, a PN electoral promise in 2008, was also absent. There were over 120,000 licences at June 2007, according to the latest available NSO figures, which amount to over €4 million in licence fees. The government has also proposed to remove the inheritance tax on the ordinary residence, even when the residence is inherited by the deceased's children. The Budget did make a provision for inheritance by disabled children – but it left the wider concept untouched. We are also still no closer to finding out what will happen with refunds of eco-tax to companies that sign up to waste management schemes – although, to be fair, the pre-budget document made it clear that the ball was in industry's court. “Until the industry signals its preferred way of working, government cannot entertain requests for refunds or exemptions of the eco-contribution. Once industry is decided and starts shouldering a significant cost of this waste management component, government will be in a position to publish all the relevant legal notices in order to implement both the refund and exemption mechanisms,” it had said. Widows were also left out – the pre-budget document said that their rights' would be streamlined by giving full pension rights to all widows with dependent children up to the age of 21 irrespective of the amount they earn from their job. At present, the concession is only given until the children reach the age of 16 – after which the pension is reduced by the difference between their wage earnings and the national minimum wage, subject to a minimum. And finally, the government made no provision to counteract the utility bills – the Malta Council for Economic and Social Development had wanted some measures (perhaps a one-off voucher as has happened in the past) to mitigate the impact – but the COLA falls short of the average increase expected… and in any case, will only apply to those who are employed.

by Vanessa Macdonald - [email protected]

Local News -- 04 November 2008 -- 11:30CEST

 

The Malta Chamber of Commerce and Enterprise and the Malta Federation of Industry said that the Budget efforts to stimulate externally induced cost-cutting in business to meet short-term difficulties fell short of any tangible measures. … The 2 organisations said they were disappointed by the complete absence of measures aimed at reducing costs to enterprise. “It was expected that in the light of the difficult economic climate which enterprise is facing today, government would have introduced a mix of measures which produce results both in the medium and long term, but more importantly in the short term to ensure that manufacturing in particular would be able to mitigate the additional burden they have been made to carry as a result of the new energy tariffs. In terms of the announced schemes for business, it is noted that these could fall short in mitigating the effect of the increases in utility tariffs,” they said. The organisations noted the announced revision in income tax bands for individuals. It said the adjustment was perceived as marginal and would have a relatively minor effect on household saving and consumption given the planned increase in utility prices.

 by di-ve.com - [email protected]

Current Affairs -- 04 November 2008 -- 14:15CEST

 

Azzjoni Nazzjoni this afternoon dismissed the budget as a “a budget of hot air”. “CO2 emissions are the government's latest convenient excuse to further fleece an overburdened public of its hard earned earnings,” the party said. It said that the argument surrounding climate change was far from settled. “To impose a tax regime on the premise of a flimsy hypothesis is at best short-sighted and will only serve to destabilise further our economy and standard of living. Will the government refund the tax payers if and when the man-made climate change theory is conclusively debunked?” the party asked. Furthermore, the government's assertion that alternative energy was somehow more efficient (implying that it was cheaper) was also wrong, AN said. At best, alternative energy ,like wind turbines, was only useful in alleviating peak demand and at worst, such as on a windless day, next to useless and conventionally powered backup would still be required to meet the demand “The CO2 emissions- based tax measures introduced, including those on cars will simply hurt most those who can afford them least such as those who cannot afford a new car,” the party said. “The truth is that Environmentalism, no matter how irrational, is being slowly but surely elevated to a state religion and the government (whether it believes in it or not) finds it ever more convenient to tax in its name.” It added that the income tax incentives were unashamedly token. The raise in fuel tax alone would cancel out the projected savings. … “Most importantly the budget fails to address the fundamental issues. The government still fails to understand that economies cannot be centrally driven. It fails to understand that the working public would prefer the situation where it would be relieved of taxation and given less in the form of 'benefits' in return. – The public does not want a big daddy to deny them of their earnings only to see it spent irresponsibly. The public and the productive community want more independence from and less dependence on the state,” AN added.

The Timesonline 4.11.2008

 

The Malta Union of Teachers said today that the proposed spending of €362 million on education, announced in the budget yesterday, might not be enough for Malta to become a centre of excellence in education by 2015. The union said the budget would have been described as cautious and balanced had the government not announced the 'exaggerated and senseless' water and electricity tariffs. It said that as in the past, it would be middle income people and pensioners who would shoulder most of the burden. “Although some changes to the tax bands have been made, they are insignificant when compared to what was promised before the general election. The MUT had expected that this budget would at least lighten the burden which everybody will shoulder as a result of the water and electricity tariffs, but this has not happened,” the union said.

The Timesonline 4.11.2008

 

Friends of the Earth Malta has warned that the rebates for solar panels and the insulation of roofs and windows were not enough to incentivise behaviour that reduce carbon dioxide emissions on a national scale.

di-ve.com - [email protected]

Local News -- 06 November 2008 -- 15:30CEST

 

He (GRTU director-general Vince Farrugia) said the budget and the tariffs would dampen consumer demand. He said it was ‘cruel’ that people who had bought cars and paid a high registration tax and VAT would now even suffer an increase in their vehicle licences. These actions, he said, reflected the actions of a government in panic.

The Timesonline 6.11.2008

 

In a press conference, several heads of sections within the GRTU spoke about how the budget affected the chamber’s various members. GRTU Director General Vince Farrugia said that the budget was too optimistic and said that the government did not consider the international scenario while drawing it up. As a result, he added, the budget might not meet the government’s expectations and would leave the country’s economy worse off.

Mr Farrugia said it was a “total exaggeration” for the government to expect to raise an extra e182 million from the measures, tax contributions and utility tariffs.

The Malta Independent 7.11.2008

 

The Graffitti movement said that while the budget contains a number of positive measures, it completely fails to address the social and financial difficulties being faced with regard to the very high cost of living and the huge increase in the water and electricity tariffs. No concrete measures were announced to help families cope with the high bills they will be bearing. The practical impact of the change in income tax bands will be nearly negligible and the increase in wages given for the cost-of-living will not even make up for the increase in utility bills.

The Malta Independent 8.11.2008

 

The budget measures for Gozo announced last week lacked set timeframes, Alternattiva Demokratika chairman Arnold Cassola said. … Prof. Cassola noted that the government had failed to announce concrete measures to overcome the obstacle of the lack of jobs in Gozo. The only way to generate jobs is by putting an end to the existing culture of favouritism, Prof. Cassola argued. He explained that petrol and diesel price hikes would have a two-fold adverse effect on Gozitan workers. The inefficient public transport service in Malta and Gozo left workers with no alternative but to use their cars to commute to Malta.

The Times 10.11.2008

 

 

Budget 2010

Ministru tal-Finanzi – Tonio Fenech

 

Michael Briguglio, AD Chairperson, said: The Budget has a hazy vision.

The Malta Independent 10.11.2009

 

The Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses is disappointed that the government failed to announce plans to have childcare facilities in the country’s hospitals. … While the government mentioned plans to increase childcare facilities, there are no plans for childcare facilities at Mater Dei Hospital, which is the place of work of about 4,000 people.

The Malta Independent 10.11.2009

 

The union (UHM) said it had expected more effective commitment by the government in combatting social services abuse and fiscal evasion.

The Malta Independent 10.11.2009

 

He (Michael Brigulio, AD Chairman) described as unrealistic the compensation given to families who are careful with their use of water and energy. Mr Briguglio also criticised the decision to encourage the use of old buses, adding that it was also ironic that the government would mostly reduce registration fees for those boats which pollute the most.

The Times 10.11.2009

 

It contained “wide-ranging and innovative” measures for 2010, but the question remained whether they would provide sufficient stimulus to pull the economy out of the recession, MEA director general Joe Farrugia said. He claimed it lacked the strength of the stimuli.

The Times 10.11.2009

 

The GRTU would have liked to see a reduction in the tax paid by developers of certain projects, including homes geared towards first-time buyers.

The Times 10.11.2009

 

The Budget speech lacked measures necessary to justify the salary increase from a performance and productivity point of view. It criticised the uncertainty that still surrounded the utility tariffs to be introduced on January 1 2010 following the verification and approval of the Malta Resources Authority. “This may unnecessarily dampen local economic momentum. In this sense, it would have been better had the matter been clarified before next January,” the (Malta) chamber (of Commerce and Industry) said.

The Times 10.11.2009

 

Philip Carabot, the head of the genito-urinary (GU) clinic, was assured that the final draft policy would be discussed as part of Budget 2010 since it will entail a certain amount of financial backing. Commenting yesterday, Dr Carabot said he is disappointed but hardly surprised that there was no mention of the policy in Budget 2010.

The Malta Independent 11.11.2009

 

Nationalist MP Jean Pierre Farrugia this evening questioned the suitability of the one-off energy allowance for families with children insisting that €130 for a family of four was not enough.

The Times 13.11.2009

 

The MHRA was concerned about the increases in operating costs that its members stood to face next year due to the increase in COLA and in the utility tariffs, noting that at this time, a substantial increase in operating costs could not be recovered in light of “very aggressive” downward pressure on hotel rates. The association also reiterated its stand against the introduction of a €0.50 tax per tourist per night, which was announced in the 2009 Budget and which is due to come into force in April. It warned that the industry should not be burdened with the introduction of any additional government-incurred expenses, which would only continue to erode its viability.

by di-ve.com - [email protected]

Current Affairs -- Tuesday, November 10, 2009 -- 14:25CEST

 

The GRTU did not oppose the new utility tariffs, although it warned that they should be introduced in a transparent manner and that people should not pay for inefficiencies, but strongly opposed the upcoming increase in MEPA tariffs. However, Mr (Vince) Farrugia said (in) the Budget … some measures were lacking and certain incentives did not go far enough.

by di-ve.com - [email protected]

Current Affairs -- 12 November 2009 -- 14:35CEST

 

Moviment Graffitti said that this year’s budget is characterised more by what it does not include, than by what it does. Although the budget includes some positive measures, it fails to offer direct and determined measures that address the financial difficulties being experienced on a daily basis by many Maltese families. Similarly it does not adequately address the environmental problems being faced by the country, it said. It also said that the government’s proposal to give one-off assistance for the rise in the electricity and water tariffs is superficial. “Rather than a one-off compensation, it would have been much better if the government put in place a system by which those who waste have to pay more, while those who consume moderately do not see any increase in their water and electricity tariffs.”

The Malta Independent 17.11.2009

 

Victor Spiteri, president of the bus owners’ Public Transport Association, said that before the last general election, Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi had invited the bus owners to the PN’s headquarters in Pieta and promised them a 10-year contract. But now he was going back on his word and wanted to eliminate their means of livelihood, he said. Mr Spiteri was referring to the Prime Minister’s reply to the opposition’s remarks on the budget estimates, and said that the association was giving the government till the end of December to compensate the bus owners for the investment they had made in the public transport sector.

The Malta Independent 21.11.2009

 

The National Parents' Society of Persons with Disability would like to put forward its views on the government's Budget with regard to the sector related to disabled persons. … it is regretful that the government failed to revise the new directives issued by Minister Tonio Fenech regarding exemptions or subsidies related to motor vehicles for persons with disability, in the scheme effective January 1. Increased financial burdens on those families with severely disabled persons who need suitable vehicles for transportation of persons in wheelchairs have not been removed. Since January 2009, only for the first five years from year of manufacture is the road licence free, and from the sixth year 50 per cent of the fee will be applicable for petrol cars up to 180g/km CO2 emissions and for diesel cars up to 150g/km CO2 emissions, except for vehicles already owned by existing or qualifying persons. In excess of these levels, the full road licence fee is payable. In respect of this exception, the CO2 capping applies on change of vehicle (immaterial whether new or second-hand). Previously the road licence for the entitled qualifying cases needing such vehicles had been free. The government continues to subsidise the registration tax while import duty and VAT have been reduced. However, the annual circulation fees have increased considerably. Besides being an additional tax on disabled persons and/or their carers there is discrimination between those persons who have come to need such vehicles since January 1, 2009 (recently disabled or needing to change vehicle) and the ones who already had such vehicles before that date!

The Times 18.11.2009

 

 

Budget 2011

Ministru tal-Finanzi – Tonio Fenech

 

The Chamber of Industry, Commerce and Enterprise suggested the government would need to do more to placate their anger. The chamber expressed “utter dismay” that the pre-budget consultation had been “reduced to just two meetings”. In letters to MCESD chairman Sonny Portelli and Finance Minister Tonio Fenech, the chamber said two meetings were “certainly not sufficient and did not do justice to such a matter of key national importance as is the Budget”. It said that no serious consultation could take place in such a short time frame. “The chamber feels the government is not taking social dialogue seriously and is thus only paying lip service to social dialogue and consultation”.

The Times 30.09.2010

 

“We are very disappointed with the way things are being conducted at MCESD level. How can we go through a whole process in just two meetings? This is social dialogue just to say it was done. This is a simulation of meaningful discussions,” Union Ħaddiema Magħqudin general secretary Gejtu Vella said angrily.

The Times 30.9.2010

 

AD believes that it would have been better if government put even more investment in public education and childcare centres rather than incentivising private education. Its secretary general, Ralph Cassar, added that government should have done much more for sustainable development, including the reactivation of the national commission for sustainable development. “Government’s expenditure on renewable energy is simply not enough, especially when one keeps in mind the dirty fuel which shall be used in the power station extension. Government should also elaborate on the assistance schemes for sustainable energy,” Mr Cassar said. “Government should also have introduced fiscal measures on property speculation, from third vacant property onwards, particularly when Malta is a perpetual building site and when a quarter of properties are vacant. Fiscal mechanisms should encourage the renting and selling of properties which are kept vacant for speculation purposes and the use of existing buildings rather than building more areas.

by di-ve.com - [email protected]

Current Affairs -- 25 October 2010 -- 20:15CEST

 

Joe Farrugia, director general of Employers Association (MEA) said the budget is “an interesting but dangerous balancing act.”

maltatoday.com.mt 25.10.2010

 

GRTU director-general Vince Farrugia brandes Budget 2011 “double faced”, arguing that tools government is using to address deficit are 'not correct'. In his first comments to MaltaToday, Farrugia said that government has failed to address the burdens SMEs have been facing for the last two years. He argued that a rise in fuel and increase on tourism VAT will put small businesses, yet again, into a dire situation. "It is a pity that government seems to be more focused on the high end earners such as betting companies, auditors and accountants... it is a double-faced budget," Vince Farrugia said.

maltatoday.com.mt 25.10.2010

 

The budgeted increase in revenue through receipts from direct taxation, VAT and national insurance contributions concerned the Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry because it assumed continued economic growth, which had to be stimulated and could not be undermined. Reacting to Budget 2011, it expressed its preoccupation with the country’s level of competitiveness, which underpinned its prospects for growth. While recognising the difficult financial situation in which the Finance Minister had to formulate the Budget, the chamber expressed disappointment that the country had wasted another opportunity to address the COLA mechanism. It was also disappointed about the announcements of better regulation, which, it said, failed to address serious issues encountered by the business community, such as delays at the planning authority and the law courts. The chamber was also worried with the increase in accommodation tax, which would have serious ramifications on the price-sensitive segment of tourism the country depended on.

The Times 26.10.2010

 

None of the 30 proposals submitted by the Forum group of trade unions were adopted in the Budget, Forum president John Bencini complained this evening. He said that the Forum would at least have liked the government to adopt its proposal for the country to align itself with EU legislation on occupational health and safety. He pointed out that while the minister said that the economy was doing well, he did not say how the government intended to eliminate the risk of having people living in poverty and how the government would help workers carry the burden of the rising cost of living. Nothing was said about the water and electricity tariffs and the maternity leave, which the Forum agreed should be extended to 20 weeks. Mr Bencini acknowledged that the budget had delivered a number of good incentives, including those encouraging the use of electric cars and others which would benefit education. Forum appreciated the additional €30 million being voted for education but one still had to see whether this money was enough considering the reform which had to take place. Mr Bencini said he would have liked the government to tackle the issue of students who were not continuing with tertiary education. The Forum appreciated the support being given to private schools. He said that the Forum was worried about the VAT increase on collective tourist accommodation. He pointed out that while the minister had spoken about the importance of dialogue with unions, the Forum was for the government a persona non-grata.

timesofmalta.com Monday, 25th October 2010 - 22:26CET

 

George Micallef, president of the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association, expressed shock this evening after the Finance Minister announced in the Budget that VAT on hotel and other tourist accommodation would be raised to 7% from 5%. "We were not consulted at all about it," Mr Micallef told timesofmalta.com. Referred to references to the association made in the Budget speech, Mr Micallef said the only agreement reached with the Finance Minister was that every tourist would pay €3.5 as an eco-contribution which was to be collected from the airport. He said the MHRA had been complaining about loss of profitability, and today's announcement was therefore even more of a concern as it would mean that €6 million would be paid from hoteliers' pockets since contracts for next year and in some cases even for 2012 had already been signed. He said that the MHRA had had a verbal understanding with the minister that it would be given 18-month notice before a VAT increase, and today's announcement, therefore, was of major concern.

timesofmalta.com Monday, 25th October 2010 - 20:57CET

 

The Communist Party said this eveing that the Budget 2011 was an anti-social budget, where the government was denying the right for a decent wage to those workers with a minimum wage. "It is offensive that the government has tied an increase in minimum wage with job training, when training is supposed to be a worker’s right. While high-wage earners are giving job training without any conditions. This is nothing but discrimination to workers with low income and this will increase social exclusion and class inequalities. "The Communist Party of Malta condemns the fact that the Government has not used the same measures with regards middle and upper class families who choose to send their children to private schools. The party said the campaign against exploitation at work must be accompanied by new work legislation for secure jobs and decent wages. "The measure announced by the government seems to be attractive, although we fear that this will not be effective, if the government continues to apply the same method used in granted contracts on the least minimum bid," the party said.

timesofmalta.com Monday, 25th October 2010 - 22:22CET

 

The Malta Confederation of Women’s Organisations described the budget exercise as flawed, noting that just 8 provisions were specifically directed at women. It said it was disappointed that nothing was included on the possible funding of the EU-proposed extension in maternity leave, and expressed its hope that government would reconsider its position during further discussions at EU level. Moreover, it pointed out, no increase in funds for the National Commission for the Promotion of Equality or for the Commission on Domestic Violence was announced.

by di-ve.com - [email protected]

Current Affairs -- 26 October 2010 -- 12:50CEST

 

Only 182 words of the budget presented yesterday evening were dedicated to disability, the Equal Partners Foundation said. It said it was extremely disappointed in the provision for persons with the minister referring solely to ‘measures intended to help persons with mobility problems’, reinforcing the view that disability is a problem of ramps and wheelchairs, and not one of facilitating access to society, work and independence. There were no measures to combat poverty and social exclusion, to strengthen vocational training, to promote the employment of persons with disability. Equal Partners said it remained one of the voluntary organisations which received meagre financial support from the government (€20,000 in 2010), from which it had to pay €3,600 in rent for a small property leased from the government. The government’s policy, it said, meant that its 300 plus members with intellectual disabilities and learning impairments were continue to be discriminated against. State support, the foundation said, had to increase and it had to follow the person with disability throughout his life. “We believe that that it is ludicrous to hope that anyone can subsist on 60 per cent of the minimum wage, as persons with disability person are expected to.” These people, together with their supporting carers and parents, had again become poorer, Equal Partners said.

timesofmalta.com Tuesday, 26th October 2010 - 16:41CET

 

University students have called the Budget a “missed opportunity” where only one of their 22 proposals was adopted. The University Students’ Council (KSU) said the University required more financial autonomy from government funding and the Budget should have included greater incentives for businesses to invest in the University. “It is only in this way the University can start looking to more long-term projects, allowing it to add greater value to the provision of a higher level of education through the availability of better resources for students.”

The Times 28.10.2010

 

The government is imposing heavy financial burdens on the construction industry that will certainly lead to increased property prices to the detriment of potential property buyers, the Malta Developers Association said in its reaction to the budget. The association said that while it appreciated the difficulties the government faced in its efforts to lower the deficit, it felt that, in the situation in which the property sales market was today, it was not opportune to continue to increase costs for the construction industry through increases in excise duties on fuel and the new tax on cement.

timesofmalta.com Saturday, 30th October 2010 - 09:01CET

 

Elderly people remain at a high risk of poverty and this issue was not addressed in last week’s budgetary measures, according to the Pensioners’ Association. Statistics showed that Maltese over 65 had a 22 per cent chance of falling below the poverty line but the Budget failed to tackle such a scenario, the association said in a statement. The Budget speech did not mention the removal of the compulsory retirement age and failed to address the unique financial needs of the elderly.

The Times 2.11.2010

 

Nationalist MP Jean-Pierre Farrugia said today that the increases in supplementary allowances given in the Budget were so low, it would have been better had they not been given. Speaking during the Budget debate, Dr Farrugia said the allowances amounted to 54c for single persons and 86c for couples per week. Such increases, he said, were inadequate. The government, he said, could have been more generous, not least because spending on the supplementary allowance – given tot he poorest strata of society – had actually decreased year-on-year.

timesofmalta.com Wednesday, 10th November 2010 - 13:01CET

 

 

Budget 2012

Ministru tal-Finanzi – Tonio Fenech

 

The Malta Employers’ Association described the National budget for 2012 as a ‘business as usual budget’, in the sense that it contains a spread of economic and social measures affecting numerous sectors of Maltese society, but lacks any substantial initiatives to stimulate economic activity. … the budget does not propose bold actions that really address the country’s underlying challenges. As was stated in the budget speech, government preferred not to take risks that could destabilise the economy.

by di-ve.com - [email protected]

Local News -- 14 November 2011 -- 21:55CEST

 

Paul Pace, the president of the nurses union, said in reaction to the budget speech that there are a number of positive measures, but too many of them are half-baked. Worse still, he said, a lot of importance was given to cultural venues such as aquariums, parks and museums, but there is nothing that will help families in a direct manner. On the maternity leave issue, Mr Pace said it is worrying that nothing is yet certain. The proposal will be discussed within the Malta Council for Economic and Social Development, meaning that the employers can shoot it down, he said.

The Malta Independent 15.11.2011

 

MDA (Malta Developers’ Association) feels that the condition restricting the scheme only in the case of a property being restored or rehabilitated and not if the property is demolished and reconstructed is restrictive and will not lead to the fulfilment of the scheme’s aims since in these urban centres there are buildings that cannot be adapted for residential or commercial use with the facilities one expects to find nowadays.

The Malta Independent 15.11.2011

 

The €1 million increase in the Malta Tourism Authority’s allocation is not sufficient to meet the challenges of the coming year, in view of the economic problems, Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association president George Micallef told The Malta Independent.

The Malta Independent 15.11.2011

 

The UĦM is disappointed that the maternity leave extension will not be introduced as yet but has to be discussed within the MCESD. It is also disappointed by the lack of eco-contribution reductions. “We need to know how the government will deal with inflation as this has to be decreased from 2.7% to 2.1%,” Mr Vella added.

The Malta Independent 15.11.2011

 

Alternattiva Demokratika chairperson Michael Briguglio said AD was disappointed by the lack of green measures in Budget 2012. AD had expected the budget to give more attention to the environment, green jobs and alternative energy.

The Malta Independent 15.11.2011

 

Budget 2012 lacks substance, For.UM president John Bencini said when contacted. This budget lost its social soul, he added. For.UM was expecting a budget that alleviates the burdens of the middle class and those who are on the brink of poverty, but the government is more interested in reducing the deficit rather than generating growth and addressing the economic stagnation Maltese families are facing.

The Malta Independent 15.11.2011

 

It is unfortunate that a number of proposals made by the Malta Union of Teachers were ignored, MUT president Kevin Bonello told The Malta Independent. … The MUT also proposed investment in the university’s research capacity, but it seems that this was not taken on board, however suggestions that the university and MCAST work together more, as it does not make sense to have competition in such a small country, are to be discussed between the parties involved. … Another negative aspect is the fact that the MUT proposal for the tax rate for those who offer the government a part-time service, as well as working full-time with the government, was not taken on board. As it is, a full-time state school teacher who also teaches an evening class pays a 30% tax rate, whereas someone whose full-time job is not with the government pays 15%.

The Malta Independent 15.11.2011

 

The government persists in introducing sporadic initiatives rather than holistic policies for renewable energy use. As regards water, the Budget misses out on the urgent need to stop the illegal extraction of water through unauthorised boreholes. Such extraction is forcing the Water Services Corporation to rely heavily on reverse osmosis and is, in itself, a contribution to the rates that are charged for water. … the government has once again failed to introduce a tax on property speculation despite the increase in vacant property and the lack of affordable housing for low and middle income earners. … Low and low-middle income earners will not be experiencing as much improvements through the Budget.  … the government once again did not have the courage to increase the minimum wage beyond the cost-of-living adjustment, despite the hardships faced by low income earners. If such a measure is coupled with increase in productivity, it would not be inflationary.

Michael Briguglio Chairman & Spokesman for economy and finance

Alternattiva Demokratika – The Times 25.11.2011

 

Franco Debono this evening fired an angry tirade at the government, hitting out at the fact that more amendments had been moved to the Budget Measures Bill than there were clauses.

timesofmalta.com 9.5.2012, 18:34

 

 

 

Budget 2013

Ministru tal-Finanzi – Tonio Fenech

 

FOR.U.M would like to point out that the increase on fuel tax should have never been introduced especially when the price of fuel is being periodically increased throughout the whole year. FOR.U.M would have been more in favour in the introduction of further measures which would have decreased tax evasion then to resort to increase in Fuel Tax.

Independent.com.mt, Thursday, 29 November 2012, 10:55

 

MHRA is less enthusiastic about the budget as the request made by MHRA to “leave something in the hoteliers’ tills” has not been heeded by the Finance Minister. ... “We have been asking government for a return to the 5% VAT rate on accommodation and a drop in electricity rates by 4c a kilowatt. These two measures would have been important for the hoteliers to be able to fund the much needed refurbishment and reinvestment which needs to be done regularly.” With regret MHRA notes that neither this measure nor any other measure which will have a similar effect has been taken and consequently Malta is running the risk of its accommodation and catering sector slowly deteriorating.

Independent.com.mt, Thursday, 29 November 2012, 09:07

 

There are a number of proposals it (The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry) would also have liked to see included in the Speech.Primarily amongst these is the missed opportunity to address the COLA formula. This is required to complement Malta’s competitiveness position whilst being retained as an instrument to compensate workers for loss of disposable income due to inflation. ... The Malta Chamber would also have liked to see the introduction of a voluntary scheme for business whereby operators could choose between variable energy rates or opt to fix their tariffs for a number of months ahead at a reasonable premium.  It would also have liked to see its proposal accepted for the re-introduction of export-credit insurance within the limitations imposed by EU regulations.

Independent.com.mt Wednesday, 28 November 2012, 22:28

 

With regard to childcare facilities, our (UHM) proposal for a private public partnership for the provision of this service was not accepted. We are disappointed about this because we believe this would have been a good measure to help the supply side of the labour market, which would have a positive effect on the local economy. Mr (Josef) Vella said the union was also disappointed that more was not done to assist and entice people to invest in alter-native energy. He said the reduction in the feed-in tariffs was another negative aspect of this Budget. “We hope this will not have a negative effect on consumers.”

The Times 29.11.2012

 

The Government has wastefully extended stipends to students wishing to carry out voluntary work up till the age of 25 – a most ill-timed measure in the circumstances – as well as raising registration tax on vehicles that do not have a Euro 5 rating and, of course, raising tax on fuel at a time when some people are struggling and when the public transport service is not up to scratch. In short, in an indirect manner the Budget will be least liked by low-income earners who will also be hit by the announcement by Liquigas yesterday that the price of a gas cylinder is to rise once again.

Editorjal, The Times 29.11.2012

 

Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi yesterday admitted that single people earning the minimum wage will end up paying tax on their gross income due to changes introduced in the Budget.

The Times 30.11.2012

 

The Nationalist Government’s proposed Budget is a Budget of uncertainty for more than one reason. To begin with, the Budget comes within a political context of uncertainty that has been characterising the Maltese public sphere for over a year. Malta has been in election mode since and the presence of billboards in all corners of the island is ample proof of this. The fact there will be a political ‘truce’ in the Christmas period, where political campaigns will stop for some days, also confirms we have had too much politics in the past months. Many people are exhausted of the situation, which could have been avoided if a general election had been called earlier on. Given Franco Debono’s statements, it seems that the Budget will not be approved, meaning that an election will surely be held in the coming weeks. This also adds uncertainty because nobody knows for sure whether the Budget will be implemented or whether it actually can be implemented. Indeed, despite the statements made by both the Nationalist and Labour parties on implementation of the Budget, I have serious doubts on its sustainability, given its electoral considerations. In particular, it is strange that the Government is planning an €83 million revenue increase, from €840 million in 2012 to €923 million in 2013, when the same Government is proposing an income tax cut for those earning between €19,500 and €60,000, down from 35 per cent to 32 per cent in 2013 and to 25 per cent in 2015. For such an increase in revenue to take place, the economy must grow at a rate that goes beyond recent trends and which is beyond belief given the global economic crisis. Notwithstanding Malta’s relatively positive economic performance when compared to fledging economies in Southern Europe, the predictions of the Nationalist Government are too optimistic to be taken seriously, especially when a general election is round the corner. It is evident that the tax cuts proposed by the Government were targeted at persons who are more likely to be within the Nationalist Party’s strategic interests in terms of votes. Should such tax cuts be approved, we will subsequently be likely to have to pay up for their impact on public finance through a reduction of public services, more borrowing or compensating tax elsewhere. This is surely not sustainable. The Government’s proposed tax reduction also lacks a social justice dimension. Indeed, deductions are regressive as they are not benefitting the vast majority of workers who earn less than €19,500. Should the Government have really afforded to carry out tax deductions, these should have primarily targeted those in need by revising the lower tax bands. This would have also been of benefit to higher earners. The Government’s regressive stance is also confirmed when the minimum wage has once again not been increased and when the disability pension has remained anchored at a miserly 55 per cent of the minimum wage. The otherwise positive initiatives in the Budget, such as increases in children’s allowance (and a further topping up for minimum wage earners) and extension of eligibility for disability pensions only partly compensate for inequalities. Hence, the situation of low- to mid-income earners and many persons with disability remains at best uncertain. The Budget of uncertainty also characterises Malta’s energy policy. While proposed incentives for renewable energy and energy efficiency are welcome, it is clear these are still not being considered a priority by the Government. This is not only because years-old wind energy promises remain unresolved but also because the positive budgetary proposals for usage of government property for solar energy and access to solar energy for persons who are denied such usage are vague. Besides, the reduction in the feed-in tariff (despite the extension of the scheme in terms of a number of years) will probably act as a disincentive to low- to mid-income earners who would have been interested in investing in solar energy. All in all, it is clear that the Budget does too little to stop Malta’s dependency on fossil fuels, which are likely to experience price increases in future. Once again, we will all pay the costs for such policies. As regards water, the distribution of energy efficient water tap equipment is welcome, yet the elephant in the room, namely theft of water from boreholes, remains largely ignored. It beggars belief to see that the Government keeps downplaying the environmental, social and economic repercussions of its laissez-faire policies in this sector. As regards the work-life balance, social policies remain restrictive. For example, the Government’s investment in childcare centres remains too low to ensure universal accessibility. What Malta needs is a holistic social policy approach ensuring that everyone has opportunities to find employment and that work pays. The increase in precariousness and inequalities is not encouraging in this regard. The number of positive initiatives in the Budget do not compensate for its regressive and unsustainable orientation. Universal public services require progressive revenue measures and a sustainable economy requires sustainable social and environmental policies. Instead, we face an uncertain Budget in the middle of a seemingly eternal electoral campaign.

Michael Briguglio is chairman of Alternattiva Demokratika.

The Times 7.12.2012

 

 

 

 

 

Budget 2007

 

 

Budget 2009

Isma' d-diskors ta' Joseph Muscat fil-Parlament (id-diskors ta' Dr. Muscat jibda 33 minuta wara li s-seduta tkun bdiet)

 

 

Budget 2010

Isma' d-diskors ta' Joseph Muscat fil-Parlament (id-diskors ta' Dr. Muscat jibda 31 minuta wara li s-seduta tkun bdiet)

 

 

Budget 2011

Isma' d-diskors ta' Joseph Muscat fil-Parlament (id-diskors ta' Dr. Muscat jibda 35 minuta wara li s-seduta tkun bdiet)

QABEL il-budget  

WARA il-budget 

 

 

 

Budget 2012

Isma' d-diskors ta' Joseph Muscat fil-Parlament (id-diskors ta' Dr. Muscat jibda 34 minuta wara li s-seduta tkun bdiet)

 

L-ewwel ghamlu budget ... imbaghad ftit gimghat wara qacctu 40 MILJUN Ewro minnu. Imma ma riedu jghidu xejn lil hadd ...

allura kellu jkun il-Partit Laburista li jinforma lin-nies b'li kien qieghed jigri.

 

Sezzjoni

Dipartiment

Tnaqqis

Agriculture Support Scheme

Agriculture

€ 200,000

University of Malta

Education

€ 2,500,000

MCAST

Education

€ 770,000

Grants/Stipends

Education

€ 100,000

Development of Science Centre

Education

€ 10,000

Specific Learning Disability Unit

Education

€ 2,000

Allocation to Church Schools

Education

€ 1,000,000

Special Education Programmes

Education

€ 20,000

Malta Government Scholarship Fund

Education

€ 9,000

Band Music Trainee Scheme

Education

€ 25,000

Education Initiatives

Education

€ 15,000

Afternoon School Programmes

Education

€ 15,000

Junior College

Education

€ 430,000

Libraries

Education

€ 70,000

Foundation for Tomorrow's Schools

Education

€ 16,000

Landscaping

Environment

€ 300,000

Resources Ministry salaries

Environment

€ 863,000

Grand Harbour Regeneration Corporation

Environment

€ 26,000

Solid Waste Management Strategy

Environment

€ 500,000

Environmental Upgrade Committee

Environment

€ 200,000

Mount Carmel Hospital

Health

€ 1,200,000

Karin Grech Hospital

Health

€ 500,000

Health Screening Programmes

Health

€ 356,000

Primary Healthcare

Health

€ 300,000

National Cancer Plan

Health

€ 200,000

Strategy on Obesity

Health

€ 60,000

Postgraduate Training (medical)

Health

€ 100,000

Congress of Nurses

Health

€ 20,000

Blood Transfusion Service

Health

€ 75,000

Corrective Facility - Kordin

Justice

€ 403,000

Corrective Facility - Gozo

Justice

€ 62,000

Local Councils

Local Councils

€ 826,000

Agenzija Sapport

Social

€ 407,000

Fejda/St. Jeanne Antide Programmes

Social

€ 100,000

High Support Services

Social

€ 100,000

Sapport - Independent Community Living

Social

€ 50,000

Child Care Centres

Social

€ 50,000

Out of Home Care Programme

Social

€ 50,000

National Commission Persons with Disability

Social

€ 13,000

Be Smart Online

Social

€ 10,000

Office of the Commissioner of Children

Social

€ 9,000

Access Community Resource Centre

Social

€ 6,000

National Family Commission

Social

€ 5,000

Children and Young Persons Advisory Board

Social

€ 4,000

Social Work Professional Board

Social

€ 1,000

Invalidity Pensions

Social

€ 60,000

Retirement Pensions

Social

€ 750,000

Agenzija Appogg

Social

€ 178,000

Agenzija Sedqa

Social

€ 130,000

Bonus

Social

€ 120,000

Widows Pensions

Social

€ 230,000

Short-term Benefits

Social

€ 30,000

Children's Allowance

Social

€ 80,000

Old Age Pension

Social

€ 40,000

Disability Pensions/Allowances

Social

€ 20,000

Social Assistance

Social

€ 130,000

Medical Assistance

Social

€ 30,000

Sports

Sports

€ 235,000

Malta Tourism Authority

Tourism

€ 1,400,000

 

 

 

 

Budget 2013

 

Isma' d-diskors ta' Joseph Muscat fil-Parlament (id-diskors ta' Dr. Muscat jibda 27 minuta wara li s-seduta tkun bdiet)

 

 

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