[WATCH] Budget will serve to ignite hope in people during a difficult time, PM says

Prime Minister Robert Abela says budget based on socialist principles, assurance of jobs and strengthening of economy • PM announces wage supplement will continue and families will receive another round of vouchers  

Prime Minister Robert Abela
Prime Minister Robert Abela

Monday’s budget will be based on socialist principles, the straightening of the economy and the assurance of jobs, Prime Minister Robert Abela said.

Abela fielded questions from those present during a Labour Party event held in Mdina. The PM was flanked by Infrastructure Minister Ian Borg and Bormla mayor Alisson Zerafa Civelli.

“The budget will serve to bring courage, hope and reassurance, while incentivizing consumption,” Abela said.

Abela said that government’s contribution to social measures will triple, up from €35 million to €100 million.

Speaking on Monday’s budget, Abela announced that government’s wage supplement will continue, while also declaring that people will receive another round of vouchers.

Speaking on COVID-19, Abela said he believes the country managed the pandemic in a successful way.

“Could we have done things better? Yes, but no country had a manual on how to approach this situation,” Abela said.

The PM stated that predictions in February and March had foreseen thousands of COVID-19 related deaths, but thanks to the government’s strategy this was prevented.

Abela stressed the country must strike a balance between the economy and people’s health.

“European leaders all have the same sentiment – countries need to strike a balance,” he said.

The labour leader also stated that despite the difficulties brought about by the pandemic, government has managed to reduce unemployment.

Asked on infrastructure, Abela stated government will continue to strengthen, in order to continue provide jobs and a better way of life for people.

“We need to upgrade our infrastructure like schools, online infrastructure, roads, social housing, environment and waste disposal. This collectively contributes towards a better life for people living in Malta and Gozo,” he said.

Ian Borg also spoke about infrastructure, announcing the opening of three more flyovers as part of the Marsa junction project in the coming hours.  

He also announced that in the coming days, all seven Marsa flyovers will be in service.

Borg pointed out that when leading the country, one must take the difficult decisions, something which Robert Abela has not shied away from since being elected as PM.

On the issue of foreign workers, Abela said that they are crucial to the economic success garnered by the country.

“One must draw a distinction between irregular immigration and foreign workers. We cannot just shoot at a formula which has brought about such economic success to the country,” he said.

He also pointed out the country will be catering for the influx by upgrading its nationwide infrastructure.