2012 local elections cost €3.1 million

The 2012 local elections cost the taxpayer just over €3 million

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat today informed Parliament that local elections cost the tax payer just over €3 million, with €480,500 going for the rental of the Naxxar premesis where the votes are counted.

In reply to a Parliamentary question, Muscat said the 2012 elections, which included 35 localities, cost €3,152,144. He added that around €500,000 were spent on structural changes which were made to the Naxxar counting hall.

On Monday, justice minister Owen Bonnici announced that next year's council elections will be held as planned whereas those scheduled for 2017 will be held in 2019 with the EP elections.

Government’s intention to postpone the two rounds to 2019 was reversed following a huge public outcry. Before deciding against postponing the elections, government dismissed claims that it wants to avoid having these elections coincide with the abrogative referendum of spring hunting: arguing that its intention is to avoid unnecessary expenses related to elections.

Muscat had said the move would save costs, improve turnout in local council elections and address what he described as “election fatigue”. It would, however have meant extending the term of mayors and councilors from three years to eight years.