The Malta Independent 15 October 2021, Friday

‘A budget with no sense of credibility, clear direction or strategy’ – Bernard Grech

Shona Berger Monday, 11 October 2021, 22:07 Last update: about 4 days ago

In his reaction to the 2022 budget, Opposition Leader Bernard Grech said that the government failed to present a budget with a clear strategy and direction. It instead presented a budget with no sense of credibility. 

In a press conference on Monday following the announcement of the 2022 Budget, Grech said that the Labour government is “ not credible” as it delivered a budget with no substance.  

The government continuously promised measures to the people, then admitted that one third of the measures were never implemented, Grech said.

He highlighted that this year the government is clearly admitting that the deficit will be double what it predicted.

Grech stressed that this year’s budget has totally forgotten Malta’s frontliners, including nurses, doctors, educators and LSEs. This budget also completely left out Malta’s police force as well as the significant problems Malta’s farmers face.

Grech admitted that some measures are good and beneficial – measures which the Nationalist Party has proposed and pushed for.

“Minister Clyde Caruana said, shortly before the budget, that the pandemic cost the country a substantial amount of money. This huge discrepancy shows that the debt is not due to the Covid-19 pandemic but the fruit of, among other things, corruption, lack of direction and preparation for the future,” Grech said.

He reiterated his point saying that the budget does not contain any vision on key sectors of the economy. There is nothing allocated for manufacturing, tourism and financial services.

Grech claimed that the blockchain concept had also been set aside. The Finance Minister in recent days admitted that this was just a buzzword.

Furthermore, he also claimed that the government did not mention anything related to the cost of living as the aid given is too little for the increases this country is facing.

“We are increasing our country’s debt by €4 million a day but for a pensioner the government allotted just €0.71 and for the rest €0.25. What the labour government is saying with such budget measures is: ‘Go find another job – You need to work harder to meet ends meet,” Grech said.

He also mentioned the newly proposed metro system, saying that the government did not bother to allocate any money for this project.

Speaking on the energy sector, Grech described this budget as one that offered nothing new. It was published in this way to silence people right before a general election.

“A Nationalist government will be a guarantee of a strong country so that together we can have a strong society,” Grech said. 

 

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