EU’s conditional clearance to Budget 2015 welcomed by Opposition

Nationalist Party says Malta’s strong economic performance should translate in positive initiatives for families and businesses

The Nationalist Party welcomed the EU’s conditional clearance to the Government’s Budget for 2015.

“This decision, in parallel with Government’s repeated assurances on Malta’s strong economic performance and financial stability, should put Government in a better position to come out with a stronger budget which improves the standard of living for Maltese and Gozitan families while incentivising business towards further growth and job creation,” the PN said.

Referring to the miserly 58c adjustment to the cost of living, the PN said the meager increase would not effectively help families to face the cost of living in the coming year. It called on the government to compensate employees by reducing taxation further, particularly through the further lowering of income tax bands, without any compensatory increases in indirect taxation.

“This would instill more confidence amongst consumers and alleviate pressures on the retail and trade sector,” it said, adding that weak sales and lower levels of imports and exports were registered.

“In parallel, the elderly deserve to benefit – as had been the case throughout the previous legislature – from the full cost of living, along with supplementary incomes to alleviate poverty in Malta, which according to SILC (2013) has now reached 65,000 people.”

With regards to the declining economic sectors, the PN said the government – besides  the promised energy tariff reductions – must come up with incentive programmes tailor made for the manufacturing sector. This, it said, would provide stability to the over 30,000 persons employed in this sector and create new opportunities for the young people.

“The PN expects Government to use its comfort zone in the fiscal position yielded thanks to the revision in the statistical methodology of the ESA2010, to finance the necessary and ongoing improvements required in health, especially in the primary health care sector, as well as in education, particularly by re-starting the successful one-new-school every year programme, which had been unfortunately stopped by Labour, much to the detriment of our future generations.

“Joseph Muscat has repeatedly assured the public that Malta's performance is exceeding expectations. It should therefore be the opportune moment to deliver a budget that improves the daily lives of Maltese families, allowing them to benefit in similar manner as Government Ministers, MPs, and party executives have already done over the past months of this legislature.”

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