The Malta Independent 5 December 2020, Saturday

Budget 2021 - What's in it for you?

Monday, 19 October 2020, 22:10 Last update: about 3 months ago

With another budget now behind us, we look at the measures which will affect the people most - breaking down Finance Minister Edward Scicluna's two-hour speech into bite-size chunks.

It was the ninth budget of the Labour government, and it may well be Scicluna's last, with newly-sworn in MP Clyde Caruana being touted as his replacement.

The budget was split across six main sectors: social measures, the economy, the environment, law and order, education and health, and infrastructure.

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The main measures on a person-basis announced are:

- Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) is €1.75c per week

- For pensioners, a pension increase will see the total adjustment be of €5 per week

- An additional day of vacation leave

- Fourth round of tax refunds, now increased to a maximum of €95, will be distributed

- Another round of COVID-19 vouchers - €60 for accommodation and restaurants, and €40 for retail and services – will be issued

- An increase in Children’s Allowance of up to €70.

- An increase in adoption and fostering allowances, with a new €1,000 grant for local adoptions

- Further incentives for private pension schemes, with a tax exemption now up to €3,000.

- An increase in the Supplementary Assistance allowance

- At-risk-of poverty grant extended

- Increase in Carer’s Allowance to €6,000, scheme extended to people caring for disabled persons

- €9 million allocated to address past injustices

- First Time Buyers scheme ceiling upped to €200,000

- Wage Supplement extended until March, with adjustments possible later this year or early next year.

- Quarantine leave to be extended

- Threshold of businesses exempt from VAT increased from €20,000 to €30,000.

- Government to give refund taxes paid on Pitkalija and Pixkerija sales

- More incentives on renewable energy

- Importation of single-use plastics to stop on 1 January 2021, sale to be banned in 2022

- Car scrappage scheme ceiling increased to €7,000

- €11 million investment in sports facilities and more investment in social housing

- More medicines to be added to government formulary

- A new blood bank to be built

- One year’s free internet for children who continue to study after 16 years of age

For a more detailed look at the measures announced, check out our live commentary from the Budget itself here, or hop onto www.independent.com.mt and find our summaries of each section of measures.

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