Expect ‘an election budget’, government sources say

Excise duty for diesel and petrol will increase by 2c.

Government sources described this evening's budget as an 'election budget'. But they were tight-lipped about specific details of the budget.

MaltaToday has discovered that excise duty on petrol and diesel will increase by 2c from January of next year. This would effectively mean that the price of diesel would remain stable, whereas that of petrol would rise by 1c. 

MaltaToday confirmed that the price of petrol and diesel was 'fixed' after lengthy negotiations held by Enemalta with suppliers.

The budget will be presented by Finance Minister Edward Scicluna, better known as an 'independent' economist who was often seen regularly commenting on the annual budget on television.

The budget is however scripted by the Prime minister Joseph Muscat, Deputy Prime Minister Louis Grech and the finance minister himself.

Finance Ministry aides and officials are currently working on the last preparations for Budget 2014 to be presented to the House of Representatives this evening.

On Saturday the media were invited for a 10-minute viewing of the minister discussing the final preparations with his team as they went over the budget documents, including the financial estimates and the Budget speech.

The documents were expected to go to print over the weekend.

In comments to MaltaToday, Scicluna described the Budget as one which will be "positive for the families".

"My gut feeling is that this will be positive for the Maltese and Gozitan families. It will be a realistic budget which will reach the government' financial targets," Scicluna said.

"At the same time, it gives the space to be positive."

The minister added that the Budget will seek economic growth that will generate jobs "leading to a fair distribution of wealth".

In separate comments to this newspaper, the Opposition's spokesperson for finance Tonio Fenech said he expected the government to follow up on its electoral pledges to cut on costs and seek economic growth.

"It is very simple: the government was not elected on a mandate to increase taxes but to generate revenue through economic growth, cost-cutting and increased efficiency. But what we're seeing is an increase in taxes," Fenech said.



X'wicc ghandu dan il-bicca accountant Tik Tok Toni jidher quddien in-nies. Diga nesa li lil poplu kien qallu li it-tariffi tad-dawl u l-ilma are here to stay. Nesa li kien laqqam il-progett tal-Labour bhala Alice in Wonderland. Issa la darba dan jsehh jien nippretendi li dan Tik Tok Toni ghandu jirrezenja ghax zvijja lil poplu. Jien ghalek ivvotajt lil PN ghax Tik Tok Toni ikkonvincini li dik il-weghda tal-Labour kienet fantazija. Ghalhekk hu lili u hafna ohrajn gejna zvijjati meta tajna il-vot lil PN. Never again.
Hon Prof Scicluna, I honestly hope that some lady will like you and tomorrow you will get some Arlogg tal-Lira, :) I am sure the present Finance Minister will cut corruption.
Mr Tonio Fenech what is sure is that your "Alice in Wonderland" definition is going to materialise, in ridiculous comments from you and Simon which are going to be just sideshows full of sour grapes