The Budget of Uncertainty

Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party said that the budget for 2013 was taking place in a surreal electoral context given the statements of MP Franco Debono. AD said that despite a number of positive measures the budget lacks a progressive direction especially for low to mid-income earners.

Michael Briguglio, AD Chairperson, said: “If Franco Debono’s statement holds, the budget will not be approved. Unfortunately Malta will have to keep guessing on the election date, given the current political situation”.

“As regards the budget itself, AD notes that notwithstanding Malta’s relatively positive economic performance, there are growing inequalities in Maltese society which are not being catered for. The minimum wage and disability pension were not increased. Income tax deductions are not benefitting the vast majority of workers who earn less than Euro 19,500. We hope that the Nationalist Party’s electoral considerations in income tax deductions will not have a negative impact on the sustainability of public finance”.

“On the other hand, we welcome the increased investment in education and health and in children’s allowance, especially for minimum wage earners. We also welcome the extension of elegibility for disability pensions”.
“Family-friendly social policies remain restrictive, and government’s investment in childcare centres remains too low to ensure universal accessibility”.

“As regards energy, we welcome incentives for renewable energy and energy efficiency, but we insist that these should be Malta’s energy priority.  As regards usage of government property for solar energy and access to solar energy for persons who are denied such usage, we expect more concrete information. We also note that years old wind energy promises remain unresolved. As regards water, we welcome the distribution of energy efficient water tap equipment, yet the theft of water from boreholes remains largely ignored”.