The Malta Independent 24 October 2020, Saturday

65% of Budget 2020 measures completed despite pandemic, Finance Minister says

Friday, 16 October 2020, 15:48 Last update: about 7 days ago

65% of the measures announced in the budget for 2020 announced last October have been completed despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Finance Minister Edward Scicluna said on Friday. 

Speaking in a press conference on the last working day before the budget for 2021 is announced on Monday, Scicluna said that in the past year the government didn’t have just the measures announced last October to implement, but also those announced last June in the extraordinary €900 million Covid-recovery budget. 

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He said that this package of aid to families and businesses is the biggest injection that this government has ever made in the country’s history. 

Scicluna referred to a number of measures, including a reduction in overtime tax wherein in 2020 the first 100 hours of overtime in the year for all those whose basic pay does not exceed €20,000 in a year and have no managerial position were taxed at 15% - a measure which is expected to cost the government €5.3 million. 

Principal Permanent Secretary Mario Cutajar said that in the last seven years a total of 1,606 measures were implemented. 

He noted that there were some measures which had to be postponed due to the pandemic, which had ruined the government’s priorities, but added that the public service will continue to work so that the measures which are in progress are implemented in the coming months.

Cutajar said that the public service had also provided exceptional service during the pandemic as the government’s administrative wing so that some 93,000 jobs could be saved during the pandemic. 

It is through this and through four economic packages worth €2.7 billion that the Maltese economy will not only recover, but is expected to grow by 7% next year, Cutajar said. 

He said that the budget which will be announced on Monday will not only be an economic and fiscal exercise, but will be a tool for Malta to continue reaching the sustainable development goals set out by the United Nations. 

The budget for 2021, which is perhaps one of the more awaited budgets in recent times owing to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, will be revealed in Parliament by Finance Minister Scicluna on Monday evening.

 

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