Finance Minister Edward Scicluna noted that the country’s emphasis had shifted from high utility bills and hospital waiting lists in 2013 to issues like the environment, roads, and public cleansing in the space of four years.
“This transition is the result of a booming economy,” said Prof. Scicluna, who was addressing a public consultation meeting, while declining to give any details on the measures that the upcoming Budget will entail.
Prof. Scicluna noted that this economic success had resulted in “wear and tear” to the country’s infrastructure, like increased traffic that the roads simply couldn’t keep up with.
Prof. Scicluna said that thanks to the current boom the government was starting to address pending issue which had been relegated to the back burner for years by former administrations, like compensation related to police overtime and funds due to port workers and former electricity board employees. "Though we were not legally bound to give compensation we felt morally obliged to do so," he said.
Asked about poverty, the finance minister pointed out that cutting taxes, on its own, was not enough to address this problem, adding that low income earners were in all probability already tax exempt and so would not benefit.