The Malta Independent 18 May 2022, Wednesday

Malta must shift away from dependency on construction, Finance Minister says

Saturday, 25 September 2021, 10:39 Last update: about 9 months ago

Malta must shift away from its dependency on construction, Finance Minister Clyde Caruana said on Friday.

The Labour government’s credibility in the field of employment and in the economy is recognized by the majority of people, but “we must now gradually build and improve its credibility on the environment,” he said.

Speaking during a pre-budget consultation meeting in Gozo, Minister Caruana said that over the last few years, the government has undergone a serious change within the field of employment.

However, he emphasised that the environment and everything around us needs to evolve and improve.

“In this country we have always had a passion for construction. The urge to build has always been so. To a certain extent, even though the quality of life has increased, this continuous development of buildings makes people feel that open spaces and the environment are being threatened,” Caruana said.

He said that the solution “is to invest in people.”

Caruana explained that the mistake that politics has always made over the years, both on one side and the other, has always been to turn to construction as it is the easiest way to boost the economy.

“If we continue working in this way, like we’ve done over the years, we cannot expect a different result.

People are tired of seeing concrete and cranes around our island. I’m not saying that construction should be put to a halt, but we should consider other opportunities that gives this country better growth, without touching or harming the environment,” Caruana said.

He said the government will be prioritizing education, saying that “the more people are educated, the more opportunities as well as income they will have in their lives.”

Caruana added that “if we increase people’s potential, the country will gradually change. If we improve people’s skills, Malta’s economic activity will follow suit. This is what the 2022 Budget aims to do.”

He said that the government is committed to investing in people.

Malta’s finances will also continue being strengthened, as Caruana said that “these are the foundation of everything a country does. To be able to improve Malta’s environment, we need to see that the country’s finances are on their feet – and they are.”

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