Budget will safeguard all sectors; Entertainment industry presents 10 proposals

Prime Minister Robert Abela meets representatives from the Malta Entertainment Industry and Arts Association as part of the pre-budget consultations Minister José Herrera, Prime Minister Robert Abela, Julia Farrugia Portelli Clayton Bartolo Howard Keith Debono Toni Attard
DOI / Clodagh O'Neill

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Next year’s budget will be safeguarding jobs in each and every sector of our economy including in arts and recreation, Prime Minister Robert Abela said on Tuesday.

In a meeting held with the representatives of the Malta Entertainment Industry and Arts Association (MEIA), Abela remarked that the country had been successful in retaining jobs as it successfully contained and reduced unemployment.

He noted that the initial forecast predicted that around 50,000 employees would have lost their job due to the outbreak of coronavirus. However, Malta is seeing a different trend as it managed to reduce unemployment by 0.4% when compared to the 0.8% increase in unemployment among states in the Euro zone.

Abela spoke about the possibility of losing talent in certain sectors as they are absorbed by other industries which might have fared better during the pandemic. He stressed that the government must take all the necessary measures to safeguard sectors such as arts and recreation that improve the quality of life.

He also insisted on the importance of having a robust economy and claimed that one would be factually incorrect to argue that the government has chosen the economy over health. Such criticism is often levelled at the government when commenting on the way it handled the pandemic during the current second wave.

Abela said that the economy and health go hand in hand and each are equally important.

MEIA president Howard Keith Debono presented ten measures for the upcoming budget which would address the challenges brought by the coronavirus pandemic in a holistic manner.

He noted that the sector has expanded at a very fast pace over the last ten years and has contributed greatly to the economy.

The government, Debono said, had done a lot of good and this had to be built upon. The aim of the association, Debono said, was to safeguard the professionals in the sector and it was important that schools of art were reopened for the benefit of children and their parents.

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