Benefits will be given to those who deserve them, not to create dependence – Edward Scicluna

"The people have finally understood that this government has true vision, not just empty words" - Scicluna

Finance Minister Edward Scicluna. Photo:Ray Attard
Finance Minister Edward Scicluna. Photo:Ray Attard

Finance Minister Edward Scicluna said that benefits would be made available to "for those who truly deserve them", under the upcoming budget, but that benefits were not created with the aim of creating a culture of dependence.

Speaking at a pre-Budget public consultation, Scicluna said that the public was finally becoming aware of the government's effective vision for the country's economy.

"The people have finally understood that this government has true vision in this sector," Scicluna said, adding that the government's efforts had been on bringing as many people into the labour market as possible and breaking them out of a cycle of dependence on benefits.

"These efforts resulted in Malta achieving the second lowest unemployment rates in the EU, increasing female participation by 4 percentage point in the past year among others," he said.

Scicluna further explained that the government has created over 12,000 new jobs in the last two years with some 680 belonging to the public sector; mainly in the health and education sectors. 

“The fact that the increase is mostly in the private sector proves the faith of the private sector in the strength of the government's policies,” he added.

“‘The government has proved itself to be brave and unafraid to take risks in order to provide the best future for the people."

Scicluna also stressed the government's focus on initiating projects that would benefit the whole country including the southern regions and Gozo.

“The planned American University of Malta, will inject new life into the economy of the south, due to the needs of the students that will be inhabiting the area,” Scicluna explained.

Quoting recent NSO statistics showing a reduction in poverty rates, Scicluna said that the government was tocusing its policies on the most vulnerable groups of society.

Discussing the government's €80 million state guarantee to cover a €101 million bank loan for the ElectroGas consortium for the building of the new power station, Scicluna said that the guarantee was a very natural part of doing business.

He pointed out that guarantees of this kind were not unprecedented both on the international and on the local level.

Scicluna said that the budget would be taking place earlier than usual due to two major events Malta would be hosting, namely the CHOGM and the EU Africa summit, and because the EU would have to approve the budget before it was approved by national governments.