The 2018 Budget will be announced on Monday 9 October, Finance Minister Edward Scicluna has confirmed.
Prof. Scicluna said that the priorities for the upcoming Budget would be strengthening Malta’s infrastructure, and making sure that everyone enjoys the fruits of Malta’s strong economy.
The Malta Chamber has already submitted its pro-business, pre-Budget proposals to the Finance Minister.
They include a number of measures that would help businesses overcome the expensive energy tariffs they incur, which is among the highest in Europe. This includes an improved Night Tariff framework, purchasing flexibility as well as the introduction of privately managed energy distribution substations.
The Chamber also warned that continuous extensions to leave allowances, the potential introduction of parental sick leave and the compensation for public holidays falling on a weekend were considered a ‘grave concern’ which would only serve to further erode Malta’s competitiveness.
As a solution to Malta’s recruitment challenges, the Malta Chamber called for added efficiency to the complex work-permit application process for the employment of non-Maltese employees, along with the setting up of additional fast-track processing schemes.
The Chamber also urged Government to urgently establish the proposed Malta Development Bank, before several opportunities of investment, were lost. It was imperative for the Chamber, that the Development Bank would be operational within a reasonable time frame.
The Chamber also made a number of other recommendations relating to Infrastructure, the National Airline, RTDI and Access to Finance. All the recommendations dovetailed into the Malta Chamber’s overarching objectives to exploit the current positive standing of public finances to rectify structural issues that threaten long-term fiscal sustainability, and to further enhance the factors that contribute to Malta’s competitiveness.