MaltaToday survey: Pensioners give budget thumbs up, PL trusted more than PN on finances, economy

MaltaToday survey | Personal impact of Budget 2024: Good 29.8%, Bad 13%, No change 30.4% | Trust to run the economy and finances: PL 35.1%, PN 24%, None 41% | Clyde Caruana performance rating: 2.9 marks out of 5

MaltaToday's post-budget survey finds that 30% each way believe the budget is positive and has left them in the same position as before
MaltaToday's post-budget survey finds that 30% each way believe the budget is positive and has left them in the same position as before

MaltaToday Survey respondents are split between those who feel Budget 2024 has left them in the same position as before (30.4%) and those who have seen an improvement (29.8%) in their financial position. 

Only 13% of respondents replied that they were negatively impacted. But the budget is perceived differently by different categories, with over-65s, whose pensions have been boosted by a minimum of €15 a week, being the most likely to feel a positive impact on their life. In fact, among this category an absolute majority of 51% has seen a positive impact.  

But despite a substantial increase in children’s allowances and a record COLA increase, the budget has not quelled dissatisfaction among those aged 36-50, the age group which is most likely to include struggling families with dependent children in the middle of their careers. 

In fact, among this group only 15% have seen an improvement in their personal finances, while 16% think that they are worse off after the budget.  

A substantial 35% replied that their position has remained ‘the same’ while 32% replied don’t know. 

Similar trends are exhibited among those aged 16-35, among which 42% replied that their situation is unchanged, while 30% replied ‘don’t know.’ 

The high percentage of ‘don’t knows’ in both categories in an indication that many are still waiting to see how the budget measures actually play out in a reality marked by inflation. 

The politically strategic category of non-voters, amongst which 37% replied don’t know is also in a wait and see mode. Therefore, Labour’s chances of recovering support in this category also depend on whether inflation will continue eating away the increments included in the budget.


PL more trusted on finance and economy but relative majority trust neither party 

Which political party do people trust with running the country’s economy and finances? A MaltaToday survey has found that a relative majority trust neither the Labour Party nor the Nationalist Party. 

The survey shows that 41% have little faith in either of the two parties in parliament but the PL is trusted more than the PN by a margin of more than 10 points. 

The findings show that 35.1% of voters trust the PL to run the country’s economy and finances as opposed to 24% who trust the PN. 

The PN’s lack of gravitas on this crucial aspect of governance is further underlined by the fact that 12% of its own 2022 voters – and 11% of its current voters – trust Labour on the economy and finance. Additionally, 40% of PN voters in 2022, and 33% of current voters, say they trust neither party on this issue. 

But the PN also fails to make any headway in convincing non-voters, amongst which the vast majority (72%) say they neither trust the PN nor the PL on this issue. However, even in this category, more say they trust Labour (17%) than the PN (11%). 

Significantly Labour is trusted more with running the economy and finances by those aged over 65 (49%) and least trusted by those aged 16-35 (25%). The latter category of voters is the least likely to remember life under previous PN administrations. 

Yet despite widespread disenchantment with Labour’s economic model, the PN scores dismally among under-50s, where just 18% trust the PN more than Labour with the country’s economy. Among both the 16-35s, and 36–50-year-olds, the absolute majority trust neither party. 

Indeed, 36-50-year-olds are more likely to remember PN administrations than younger voters and are slightly more inclined to trust Labour on the economy and finances than those aged under 35 (28% compared to 25%). 

On the other hand, a staggering 57.2% of 16-35s trust neither party with the economy in an indication of widespread disenchantment with the economic model among younger people. Disenchantment with both parties on their economic policy is only slightly lower among those aged 36-50 (54%) but drops to 32% among those aged 51-65 and to just 21% among over 65s. 

The PN gets its best score among those aged 51-65 (32%), yet trust in its ability to run the country’s finances drops to 21% among the elderly. This suggests that while inflation has robbed Labour of one of its most powerful arsenals among younger respondents, its efforts to sustain pensions and welfare are more appreciated by the oldest demographic. 

In an indication that disenchantment with Labour’s economic and fiscal policies is greater among the middle-class than among the working-class, a relative majority of secondary educated respondents (41%) trust Labour compared to only 23% of respondents with a university degree. 

But the PN has not managed to convince middle-class voters that its economic and fiscal policies are any better. In fact, 51% of those with a tertiary education and 55% of those with a post-secondary level of education trust neither party with running the economy and the country’s finances. Trust in the PN’s ability is lowest among those who continued their studies after secondary level but who do not have a degree. In this category only 18% trust the PN in managing the country’s economy compared to 25% among the tertiary and secondary educated.  

This suggests that working-class voters are more likely to appreciate the emphasis in the budget on boosting incomes of low-income earners and vulnerable groups while middle-class voters, particularly those in the lower middle class are feeling excluded.


Finance Minister passes the budget test 

Finance Minister Clyde Caruana
Finance Minister Clyde Caruana

Clyde Caruana has passed his budget test with voters giving him an average score of 2.9 out of five. 

MaltaToday respondents were asked to rate Caruana’s performance from 0 (lowest score) to 5 (highest score). 

The results suggest he enjoys a favourable rating across a wide category of voters. Among non-voters Caruana manages to scrape the pass mark by clinching a score of 2.6. Predictably Caruana gets his lowest score (2.4) among 2022 PN voters and among current PN voters (2.2) and his best score among current (3.8) and 2022 Labour voters (3.5). 

A breakdown by age shows the finance minister clinching his best score among over 65-year-olds, amongst which his rating reaches the 3.1 mark in what could be an indication of Labour’s focus on sustaining pensions in recent budgets. 

But in an indication of growing dissatisfaction among the middle and working classes, Caruana’s score falls to a respectable but lower 2.7 among those aged 36-50 – the most likely to feel the pinch of inflation amid budding family burdens and mid-career peaks. 

A breakdown by education also shows Caruana getting his lowest score among those who continued their studies after secondary level but did not attend university (2.7). 

On a regional level Caruana gets his best in score in Gozo (3.2), a toss-up region which is pivotal for Labour’s majority.


The survey was carried out was carried between 1 November 2023 and 9 November 2023 for which 637 people opted to complete the survey.  Stratified random sampling based on region, gender and age was used.  A fraction of those who opted to complete the survey chose not to answer a few of the questions for which they are treated as missing values.  Missing values analysis was then carried to determine the type of technique to replace the values. A combination of logistic and linear regression with predictive mean matching was used to replace certain missing values completing and enlarging the sample set from which the final results were extracted. The margin of error for this result 3.85% for a confidence interval of 95%.