MaltaToday Survey | Budget gets high ratings

The November MaltaToday survey finds that the budget’s social slant has earned it plaudits from the elderly and a cooler reception from the young

Edward Scicluna’s budget has been well received with 46.4% of respondents in a MaltaToday survey giving it a high rating when asked how it impacted them personally.

The number was higher when people were asked to rate how good the budget was for the country with 54.8% giving it a high rating.

Both figures are higher than those registered last year when a post-budget MaltaToday survey found that 43.8% gave the budget a high rating from a personal aspect, rising to 50.4% when asked how good the budget was for the country.

On a personal level, 14.9% gave the budget a low rating, which dropped to 10.1% when asked for an evaluation of the budget’s impact on the country.

The survey was held in the week after the Prime Minister and the Opposition leader delivered their budget reactions and correspondents were asked to rate the budget on a scale of one to 10. The answers were grouped into three broad categories with the high rating grouping results from eight to 10, and the low category results from one to three.

Marked difference in age

When asked specifically about the budget’s impact on the personal finances, 44.8% gave it a high rating and 17.3%, a low rating.

A breakdown of results shows no particular difference between the perceptions of men and women, giving short shrift to the Opposition’s criticism that the budget had failed women.

However, there is a marked difference between those aged 18 to 35, and those aged 51 and over.

In each of the three questions, the budget’s strongest high rating consistently achieved absolute majorities among those aged between 51 and 65, and those aged 65 and over.

Among the youngest age group, the budget consistently achieved absolute majorities in the medium category.

These results reflect the budget emphasis on social measures that included a generous increase to pensions and allowances.

From a personal viewpoint, the budget achieved a high rating among 57.7% of those aged 51-65, and 56.2% of those aged 65+.

Only a quarter of those aged 18-35 gave the budget a high rating with the majority (62.2%) giving it a medium rating.

From a country viewpoint, the budget was given a high rating by 63.2% of those aged 51-65, and 63.1% of those aged 65+. Among those aged 18-35, 32.2% gave the budget a high rating, while 58.2% gave it a medium rating.

Similar patterns are observed when asked about the budget’s impact on personal finances. The absolute majority of 51-65 (54.9%), and 65+ (58.6%) gave the budget a high rating, while 23.7% of those aged 18-35 did likewise. The majority of young voters (62.3%), gave the budget a medium rating in terms of its impact on their personal finances.

Regional analysis

When the results are analysed on a regional basis, there are broad similarities between Gozo and the Labour Party’s strongholds in the Southern Harbour and the South East.

In each of these three regions, an absolute majority gave the budget a high rating, both from a personal viewpoint and a country viewpoint.
However, Gozo also registered the strongest number of people (28.1%) who gave the budget a low rating on a personal level.

In the Northern Harbour region, 44.6% gave the budget a medium rating and 42.9% a high rating, when asked how good the budget affected them personally. However, the numbers flipped when asked how good the budget was for the country with 36.1% giving it a medium rating and 53.3% a high rating.

As expected, an absolute majority of people who voted for the Labour Party in the last election gave Budget 2020 a high rating in each of the three questions asked: 73.3%, 82.7% and 69.9% of PL voters gave the budget a high rating from a personal aspect, from a country aspect and personal finances, respectively.

Among Nationalist Party voters, the majority in each of the three questions delivered a medium rating.

Methodology

The survey was carried out between 24 and 31 October 2019. 656 respondents opted to complete the survey. Stratified random sampling based on gender, region and age was used to replicate the Maltese demographics. The estimated margin of error is 5% for a confidence interval of 95%. Demographic and sub-group breakdowns have a larger margin of error.

In the budget questions people were asked to give a rating that ranged from 1 (very bad) to 10 (very good). Results were then grouped into three categories 1-3 (low rating), 4-7 (medium), and 8-10 (high).

More in Data & Surveys