The Malta Independent 20 October 2019, Sunday

Budget to have measures to sustain economic growth, safeguard environment - PM

Sunday, 8 September 2019, 11:38 Last update: about 2 months ago

The government will not be resting on its laurels and the upcoming budget will include more measures to sustain economic growth and safeguard the environment, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said on Sunday morning.

Speaking on One Radio, Muscat said the Maltese economy had grown by three times the EU average. This means that decisions are being taken and investment is being attracted to our shores, he said.

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The government will ensure that economic growth is sustained.

He noted that the government has, over the past years, not introduced any new taxes.

He highlighted a number of budget 2019 measures, worth some €128 million, that had a positive impact on people’s lives. These include €11 million in tax refunds, €44 million in tax reductions and €20 million in free childcare services.

Muscat hailed the “unprecedented” situation this week which saw bond subscribers willing to lend the government money at negative interest rates. 

“For the first time, lenders will actually pay us to lend us money. They have faith in the government. They know they will get their money back”, he said.

Rather than paying high interest rates, the government can used the money saved to strengthen pensions, health and education. 

He also referred to recent statistics that showed that 80% of Maltese are homeowners. While there will be more incentives to increase the number of homeowners, the government is also working on the rent reform, which will incentivize safer and longer-term rents while safeguarding the rights of tenants and landlords.

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