Finance Minister Edward Scicluna, during the launch of the pre-budget document on Wednesday morning, remarked that Malta’s economy will not recover by December, adding that the authorities are studying the next phase to ensure that oxygen continues to be supplied to the economy.
The Minister stressed that, despite health authorities believing a vaccine could be rolled out by the end of the year, this would not mean that the virus would simply go away.
Government, social partners – who will have the pre-budget document later today – and civil society need to cooperate and work together to deal with this unprecedented crisis, he added.
Minister Scicluna said that the upcoming budget, dubbed 'Towards a Sustainable Economy'. is aimed at providing peace of mind and encouragement to businesses, that the Government is providing support during these challenging times.
The Minister remarked that the deficit will likely last into 2021, while this year it predicts the deficit to grow to 7.5 per cent, with the economy shrinking 5.4 per cent.
“We know the deficit will continue in 2021, so the biggest question is how big can we afford the deficit to be,” he said.