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Budget to increase disability pensions, rent subsidy, and introduce family mentoring

Budget 2017 will make it illegal to smoke in a car while children are present, cost of living allowance increase (COLA) set at €1.75

Staff Reporter
16 October 2016, 5:40pm
Among the measures that will be announced, finance minister Edward Scicluna will tomorrow reveal higher disability pensions and an increase in rent for private-rented residences.
Among the measures that will be announced, finance minister Edward Scicluna will tomorrow reveal higher disability pensions and an increase in rent for private-rented residences.
The government will tomorrow announce an increase in disability pensions, an increase in the rent subsidy for private-rented residences, and will make it illegal to smoke in a car while children are present.

The measures – which were revealed by Sunday newspaper Illum – will be announced tomorrow by finance minister Edward Scicluna during the Budget speech. The budgetary measures, which Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said will be mindful of those in need, are set to address pensioners, minimum wage earners and those dependent on social benefits.

The newspaper reported that the finance minister would tomorrow suggest a law to prevent smoking in cars when children are present. The proposed legislation is aimed at mitigating the exposure of second hand smoke in confined spaces.

Moreover, the government will announce a series of measures aimed at mitigating the housing problem, including an increase in the rent subsidies given to people renting private residences.

However, in comments to the newspaper, social solidarity minister Michael Farrugia said this was only a “short-term measure” until it finalises its €50 million investment in some 16 social housing projects.

The report also said that the government would announce a 50% increase in disability pensions, and also allocate funds for new mentoring services for families in need.

The government will also announce a cost-of-living-adjustment of €1.75 per week, and implement a series of measures aimed at helping cancer patients, elderly homes, as well as measures to shorten hospital waiting lists.