Joseph Muscat hails 'phenomenal' doubling in size of Malta's economy

Prime Minister says budget has increased no taxes for the third time in a row, in an unprecedented move

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne and Finance Minister Edward Scicluna, addressed the press after the budget
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne and Finance Minister Edward Scicluna, addressed the press after the budget

The Prime Minister has hailed the doubling in size of Malta's economy over the course of a few years, as he praised the "positive" 2020 budget.

Joseph Muscat said the budget, which was based on the pillars of assisting families, promoting social justice and working for sustainability, painted a picture of a government which wasn't slowing down but increasing its rhythm.

Muscat was addressing the press at Castille on Monday after the Finance Minister's delivery of next year's Budget.

"A fundamental point from what the Finance Minister said during the budget speech is the fact that the Maltese economy will have doubled in size next year, compared to seven to eight years ago... we inherited an economy worth €7 billion, but next year it will be worth €14 billion… this is something phenomenal," Muscat said.

He said that apart from not raising taxes for the third time in a row - something without a precedent for Malta – the country will enjoy its fifth surplus next year.

“We will have also decreased debt to 40% by 2020. This means we can spend the money on our people," Muscat added. 

He noted that unlike the PN governments’ negative mid-term budgets, this was a positive one.

Addressing the conference, deputy prime minister and health minister Chris Fearne said this was a budget that helped everyone, but emphasised the focus on those in need.

"We are proud to make decisions which put us on the side of those who need help the most," Fearne said.

Edward Scicluna underlined that all the budget's measured were only possible due to the economic growth the country had achieved.

"All this is thanks to economic growth, so we can never neglect this," Scicluna underscored.

"The Opposition has understood nothing when it tried to belittle us for minor measures such as giving certain people a €50 cheque. But this government thinks of everyone, and such small measures make a big difference to many people," he added.

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