Government's budget plans based on 'yesterday's vision' - Tonio Fenech

PN surprised at lack of depth in pre-budget document, Opposition MP Tonio Fenech says.

The pre-budget document presented by finance minister Edward Scicluna this week lacks a concrete package of proposals to foster economic growth, Nationalist MP and former finance minister Tonio Fenech said.

"If this is the government's vision I am greatly concerned, because it is yesterday's vision," Fenech said.

The Opposition MP said that he expected the document to include a tangible set of proposals to substantiate the government's forecasts, especially in terms of job creation and economic growth.

"The only two concrete proposals are found in the government's plans to implement the tax cuts devised by the PN government and fiscal discipline, which Fenech said was imposed by the EU. 

The former finance minister added that the government's pre-budget document fails to outline the government's vision in job creation.

"I was surprised at the lack of depth in the document especially considering the delay in its publication," Fenech said, pointing out that under pervious administrations the document was traditionally published in July.

While criticising the document's lack of proposals, the former PN minister said that the official government document published this week by Scicluna was a sign of approval of the previous government's economic policies.

"The pre-budget document presented by the labour government, and not by the IMF or any other international body, also confirms that the previous government's policy addressing competitiveness was also successful," Fenech said.

He pointed out that despite the Labour Party's harsh criticism when it was in Opposition, the pre-budget document dispelled all previous doubts cast on wages, youth unemployment and women in the labour market.

Fenech said that the document clearly shows that the previous government's policies led to a 1% growth rate in 2012, a 4.2% growth in wages in 2012, an increase in the participation of women in the labour market from 43.6% to 45.8% and a 12.2% drop in youth unemployment.

"Moreover, despite the Labour Party's pessimism when it was in Opposition, Malta achieved 1.6% economic growth in the first quarter of this year."

He also highlighted the increase in competitiveness shown in the increase of exports which have overtaken imports.     

Fenech also lambasted Edward Scicluna's plans to cap the expenditure of each ministry. "What if this is not enough? Would this result in new taxes or in services being cut?" Fenech asked.

The government's plans to open new childcare centres to encourage women to enter the labour market were a positive step, however Fenech said that jobs would not be created by opening new centres, but by attracting investment.

"The country needs to achieve economic growth in order for the government to implement its electoral promises," Fenech said.

Yes of course it lacks of vision, just like the previous budget presented by Tonio Fenech lacked of vision. His income tax gimmick at the very last minute before the elections promotes the most reductions for the super rich, and the rich. But pensioners got NOTHING!!!, just further taxation of their pensions, further increases in utility bills and further cost of living increases. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Yet Tonio Fenech declared that the Blessed Virgin appeared to him. I wonder whether she told him that our Lord Jesus Christ was going to change his message to the world to give to the rich and take from the poor. What pharisees!!!!
What Vision may I ask? I hope not because the vision you had was that of DISASTERS EVEN IN YOUR OWN PARTY. It was so disastrous that even you Party Leader (Lawrence Gonzi) didn't even stay as an MP and left politics hopefully once and for all.
Can't Tonio stop making a fool of himself "...yesterday's vision..." my foot. Even as a shadow minister he is incompetent.
Tonio Fenech was-is-stays Tonio Fenech. The politician is not judged by his stage and arrogance performance,but by his results =6,000,000,000 euros dept.
Miskin, ghadu ma tfarrfarx mit-tkaxkira tal-elezzjoni. Il-lezzjoni mhu se jitghalliha qatt!!!!!
Luke Camilleri
Irrid jghid xi haga miskin...... imma min ghadu jisimghu? Meta ghamel budget hu anki l'E.U. qaltlu "CUT IT OUT!" Li hu zgur hu li l'poplu Malti mhux sejjer ikollhu budget speech li jraqqdu ...jekk jiprova jisimghu! :)
Our Tonio SHOULD know all about "lack of vision", he's been a practioner of it for years.