The Malta Independent 10 December 2022, Saturday
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Finance Minister hints at higher tax refunds next year

Giuseppe Attard Monday, 4 October 2021, 11:43 Last update: about 2 years ago

Finance Minister Clyde Caruana this morning hinted that the income tax refund next year could be higher than the one that has just been received by all workers.

This year, the lowest refund was of €45 for high income earners while lower-income workers received up to €95. All workers who earn less than €60,000 yearly are eligible for this scheme and it was first enacted three years ago after a Labour Party electoral promise made in 2017.

However, the electoral pledge made by the Labour Party in 2017 stated that higher thresholds would be set. The thresholds were pledged to be at a minimum of €200 with a maximum of €340.

Asked about it this morning, Caruana said that one has to wait for Monday’s presentation of the budget to find out.

He was speaking at an event about the implementation of the budget measures for 2021, during which it was announced that a total of 364 measures proposed had been implemented.

From the 364 enacted measures, 159 of these were carried forward from previous years since they were allocated more than a year for completion. This is a 7% increase from the average implementation percentage of the last 8 years.

Principle Permanent Secretary and Secretary to the Cabinet Mario Cutajar said that “the budget is not only expenditure of the country but a promise of measures to be enacted for the following year.”

Cutajar stressed on the importance of proper planning and coordination in order for all the proposals in the yearly budget document to be implemented.

For the second consecutive year, Malta has aligned its budget measures with the sustainable development aims of the United Nations. Through this, Malta is classified in the 33 place from a total of 165 countries.

In the 2021 budget document, 49% of the measures were concerned with social services, 26% were about the environment and 25% addressed certain economic strains.

Cutajar said that given the unpredictable circumstances of the pandemic, “proper planning was key in not only implementing 79% of the budget measures but also implementing certain measures which were not accounted for due to the pandemic.”

He also reassured everyone that the remaining measures not enacted would be carried forward until they are put into action. Projects which were carried from one year to another include the central link among others.

“Since 2013, the government has enacted a total of 1,970 measures proposed in their individual budgets,” Cutajar said while reiterating the importance of the of the permanent structure his office set up in order to account, plan and keep track of all the measures implemented.

Closing the press conference, Caruana said that “for the past year the health and economic challenges were great due to the pandemic but with proper investment in the employment industry, we are now in a position to present a positive plan of action for the next year.”

He also said that “the economic wheel in our country must keep turning and this can only happen if  the employment industry keeps working. The positive budget is thanks to three key factors; the lowest unemployment rate ever, a higher employment rate and a decrease in inactivity among the population.”

Asked about the state aid package for Air Malta, Caruana said that talks with the European Commission are still ongoing since “the commission is concerning itself also with the future of Air Malta as a company. Caruana also confirmed that this year;s budget will also include a rescue package for Air Malta.

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