Budget 2017 gives 18-year-olds free public transport for a year

All those who turn 18 during the 2017 will benefit from free bus transport

There will be a 150% tax reduction for companies that provide free transport to their employees
There will be a 150% tax reduction for companies that provide free transport to their employees

A number of measures were announced through which the government will be tackling the traffic problem. All those who turn 18 during the 2017 will benefit from free bus transport in 2017 in a fiscal measure that the government says will see 18-year-olds saving €315. 

There will also be a 150% tax reduction for companies that provide free transport to their employees. This will be capped at €35,000 for businesses implementing the measure alone, and €50,000 for those businesses that implement it together with other businesses. Previous measures to incentivize business to install bicycle racks will be extended for another year. 

Government entities with more than 50 employees will be asked to put forward a sustainable transport plan. 

Preparations will be made for works on the planned Marsa Project which will begin immediately after the completion of the Kappara project at the end of next year. 

The government will also be planning the widening of a number of roads including the Hamrun bypass and a new junction at High Ridge. 

In the energy sector, the decommissioning of the oldest part of the Delimara power station, including the chimney will continue. Geological testing for the gas pipeline will continue next year. 

By the end of next year, the government estimates that it will have reached 50% of its 2020 emissions targets. 

The grants scheme for renewable energy will continue over the course of 2017 with schemes being introduced to incentivize the use of heat pump water heaters, double glazing, roof installation, solar water heaters and other roof renovations.  

In addition to this, work on the first solar farms will being in conjunction with the Malta Developers Association, GRTU and the Water Services Corporation.

In 2017, the government will also be issuing a scheme to offer help to businesses for them to shift to energy efficient systems and machinery. Another scheme will promote the phasing out of old appliances using a system of Eco-cheques.

Solar bonds will be issued to the public, the revenue from which will finance renting of solar panel systems by commercial establishments and the installation of solar panels in public areas.

€1.5m will be invested in landscaping works in the area around the Ta’ Bakrat urban waste-water treatment plant in Xaghjra and a further €1.5m will be invested in extending the drainage system in Cachia Zammit Street in Zejtun.

The government will also be setting up a national company to oversee oil exploration. 

More in Budget 2017