PN warns Budget 2016 associated with high debt, expenditure

PN to present its economic vision in the coming days

High government expenditure, significant public debt and lack of economic diversification are the greatest risks posed to the current positive growth being experienced by the Maltese economy, the Nationalist Party reiterated today.

In a statement, the PN said these messages were delivered by the International Monetary Fund and credit rating agency Moody’s/

The Opposition welcomed the fact that both reports highlight positive aspects such as the high rates of economic growth and job stability. At the same time, emphasis was made on issues related to Government debt and expenditure.

Moody’s notes that Government debt remains high, compared to similarly-rated countries. On the other hand, the IMF claimed that fast growth in current expenditure, highlighting particularly employment in the public sector, makes “targeted debt reduction challenging”.

In its report Moody’s also noted that a significant contributor to debt reduction over the past couple of years was no sustainable measure but rather the repayment of tax arrears related to Enemalta.

“The Opposition reiterates the importance of delivering sustainable growth with the private sector as the principal vehicle towards growth, as opposed to increased Government spending,” the PN said.

“It is also crucial at this juncture to identify new economic niches which will deliver growth in the coming years. Unfortunately, Government seems intent to solely rest on the laurels of the current growth, without no appetite to build a vision for the future. Fortunately, constituted bodies and opinion leaders have in the past few weeks taken on board the calls being made by the Opposition.”

The PN said that even “Labour-appointed Bank of Valletta Chairman John Cassar White” has joined such chorus, defining “the lack of diversification in Malta’s economic activities is arguably one of the biggest threat to our future prosperity.”

“In the lack of Government’s unwillingness to think about the country’s future, the Opposition will be presenting in the coming days an economic vision. A vision which looks on enhancing the success achieved so far, ensuring that such success benefits all members of the community.”