The Malta Independent 2 March 2021, Tuesday

Edward Scicluna calls PN pre-budget document negative; expects surplus by end of year

Rebecca Iversen Saturday, 30 September 2017, 11:43 Last update: about 4 years ago

Finance Minister Edward Scicluna has labelled the PN pre-budget document negative in this morning's press conference, whilst also saying that he can almost guarantee a surplus by the end of the year.

Directly remarking on Mario de Marco's evaluation, which spoke about the problem of poverty said to be "growing in magnitude even if the statistics point to the contrary," Scicluna disagreed, stating that many statistics say otherwise and that such a notion cannot be an issue of opinion.

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In reference to the new leader of the Nationalist Party, Adrian Delia, the minister said that whilst ex-leader Simon Busutill was negative towards the economy, the new leader is claiming the economy is doing well however attributing such excellent economic results to the previous Nationalist government.

On the subject of the surplus, the minister is nformed that government is expecting to end the year with a surplus. "We can almost guarantee that we will once again finish with a strong surplus by the end of the year", he said.

Standard and Poor's are also revising their report on Malta in which the rating from stable to positive is being reviewed, Scicluna added. "They had upgraded Malta from triple B to A- and now they are revising it from stable to positive. This was changed in a year or two meaning they are upgrading Malta by another notch"

The second "positive" document was issued by the NSO, revealing that from January-August 2017, the Government's Consolidated Fund registered a surplus of 31.million, which compared to last year indicates a substantial increase already, he said. The minister of Finance moreover referred to the indications issued by the Global Competitive Index, two days ago, in which Malta rose by four places.

Additionally, although Malta saw itself calling a snap election this year, such political instability had little effect on the economy or finances of the government, Scicluna claimed. "We believe a surplus will increase over last year's amount because the economy is still strong despite the election. People did not discontinue with business, and the economy kept on going. It really was a minor blip overall. This can't be said for other general elections, where the economy did suffer".

 "Of course a better economy means more work. And this is all being achieved without any risks, people can rest assured that the government is taking care of everything... and that debt is decreasing with this government".

Concluding, Scicluna mentioned the €3 billion public debt, which were borrowed by the Nationalist government over previous legislatures, but this government refuses to create more debt, and he ensured sensibility when costing this year's budget

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