Finance Minister Edward Scicluna, who will be presenting the budget, will leave Finance Ministry to go to the Palace in Valletta where the budget will be signed by President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca before it is presented in the House of Representatives.
His address in Parliament will likely start at around 6.30pm, during which he will highlight key figures related to Malta’s economy, including growth, employment as well as the Budget surplus announced this year. After the Budget speech is concluded, there will be reactions from the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, as well as various stakeholders and industry bodies.
Prof. Scicluna has made indications that ‘quality of life’ is a top priority in this year’s budget. “People want Government to look at things in the long-term, and talk more about quality of life rather than quantity of money. While money will always be an important medium, there are also public goods to consider – things like cleanliness, the environment, free space and less traffic congestion – this is where people expect Government to find solutions. While it would be unfair to expect this Government to wave a magic wand and fix all the issues, I believe that people do expect Government to start addressing them. I hope that with this Budget, you can look at it and say, this is the Budget we expect for 2018.”
The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry presented its pro-competitiveness pre-Budget proposals early in September. Meanwhile, the President of the Malta Chamber, Frank V. Farrugia, said in an interview that with Malta’s economy doing so well, the Chamber’s priorities were focused on two over-arching goals – exploiting the current positive standing of public finances to rectify structural issues that threaten long-term fiscal sustainability, whilst encouraging government to further enhance the factors that contribute to Malta’s competitiveness with emphasis on overcoming the severe labour shortages and modernising ageing infrastructure through sustainable long-term planning.
“We need to look at the long term to fully cater for the sustainability of our sectors in order to safeguard their future. We also need to have a holistic strategic plan that will identify the industries of the future, such as Fintech and Blockchain that will sustain the growth of our economy in 10 or 15 years’ time.”
Maltachamber.org.mt will be livestreaming Budget 2018 direct from Parliament, with live text updates and reactions as it happens.