Nationalist Party leader Simon Busuttil promised today that a new PN government would drive the economy to the next generation through sustainable growth, based on a solid reputation of international respect.
At a press conference, Dr Busuttil said the new government would target a budget surplus every year while reducing the national debt in real terms. He pledged to present a constitutional amendment to guarantee that the government would have a balanced budget every year, except in exceptional circumstances, such as an international recession.
Dr Busuttil said that Malta's business growth would be based on innovation, harnessing of the best human resources, access to finance, technology and an attractive working environment. A National Economic Council would be set up to advise the prime minister on long-term economic sustainability.
A special envoy would also be appointed to ensure that Malta was prepared for any negative impact of Brexit and, more importantly, for Malta to exploit the opportunities which the UK's departure from the EU could create. He also promised that workers' conditions and pay would improve as the economy grew. He said all government workers would retain their jobs while economic growth was expected to generate 30,000 new private sector jobs in five years.
Important sectors such as financial services, gaming, ICT, pharmaceutical, life sciences, advanced manufacturing and logistics would be consolidated and the regulatory network would be improved where necessary to make it more innovative, dynamic and ahead of competitors.
Dr Busuttil said that the current administration lacked economic vision and had not created new areas of activity, apart from passport sales, a sector that had been tarnished by kickbacks. He said sectors such as financial services, ICT and gaming dreaded Prime Minister Joseph Muscat's re-election, because of the reputational damage, so the PN government’s priority would be to restore Malta's reputation as soon as possible.