Watch: Scicluna pledges no new taxes in 2021 budget

Konsultazzjoni pubblika bi preparazzjoni għall-baġit 2021 mal-Ministru Edward Scicluna

Konsultazzjoni pubblika bi preparazzjoni għall-baġit 2021 mal-Ministru Edward SciclunaIbgħat il-mistoqsijiet u s-suġġerimenti tiegħek: 👇🏼 b’kumment hawn taħt 📧 budget.mfin@gov.mt 📞 25998507

Posted by finanzi on Friday, September 18, 2020

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Finance Minister Edward Scicluna pledged that there would be no new taxes in the upcoming 2021 budget in spite of the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on public finances in a public consultation exercise on Friday.

Though Scicluna acknowledged that the pandemic had strained public coffers – just last month, the Central Bank of Malta forecast a €1 billion deficit – he argued that past savings allowed the government to avoid taking what would be a politically-unpopular step.

While the Central Bank predicted a deficit which amounted to 8.6% of the GDP, the government expected a more modest – though still significant – deficit of 7%.

Scicluna insisted that the government would not leave businesses in the lurch and pull the plug on its support when it was needed, whilst emphasising that the upcoming budget would seek to boost consumption and the economy in turn.

The pandemic forced a change in what had become an annual pre-budget tradition for Scicluna – a meeting in which individuals could make their queries or remarks. While the event was still organised, it was held virtually.

Scicluna observed that past consultation process impacted his budgets, mentioning a number of initiatives – such as the possibility for people to pay social security contribution arrears – which were introduced as a result.