‘Budget scant on projections’ says Employers’ Association

Malta Employers’ Association says budget “highlights achievements” but features “insufficient insight about future projections.”

Reacting to the 2013 Budget, the Malta Employers' Association described the budget as "a continuation or enhancement of measures implemented during the past five years, with a sprinkling of targeted expenditure and benefits over various sectors of the economy.

It also said that while the highlighted the achievements of this legislature, it however featured "insufficient insight about future projections."

"It now stands to be seen that all measures announced in the budget are implemented to realise the expected results," the MEA said.

It also warned against the negative repercussions on the country, "should we end up without an approved budget for 2013.

The Employer's Association noted that the impact and sustainability of the income tax band revision "is dependent on the ability of government to stick to its fiscal targets, on whether the economy manages to remain on a positive growth path, and also on the efficiency of public expenditure in the coming years."

The MEA commented that compared to the average EU and Eurozone economies, the Maltese economy has "scored positively on fundamental indicators such as unemployment and fiscal consolidation", but noted that the country "still faces serious threats emanating from the uncertain international situation, where the global economy is expected to shrink during 2013."

The Employers' association also insisted that it long-argued that the sustainability of public finances remains a key objective, "as the future will definitely catch up with us if the public debt reaches critical levels."

It added that the investment in education and the link to high value added sectors, such as the Bio Malta Campus, needs to be sustained. It noted that "while the increase in health expenditure is specified at €38m, the corresponding figure for education is not."

The Employers' Association also welcomed schemes implemented for SMEs as "successful", but called for more intensive promotion, arguing that many small entrepreneurs are unable to distinguish between the benefits and incentives offered by the different schemes.

The MEA also expressed its positively with regards to the establishment of Malta Enterprise office in Misurata, arguing "Libya offers significant business potential. However, the window of opportunity may be brief and Malta has to establish a presence to be able to compete with other countries."

MEA are trying to run with the hares and hunt with the hounds to be on the safe side in case Labour wins the elections. MEA knows that Labour are not exactly their best friends and they are scared stiff of a Labour government. They know what they went through when Labour was in government. Even Labour are more than aware of this, so much so that JM promised to let businesses work, if in government. On the other hand PN doesn't need to give such assurances. Successive PN administrations have shown that people know where they stand with them.. The proof of the pudding is in the eating.