Finance and employment minister Clyde Caruana has begun unveiling the Government’s national Budget for 2023 in Parliament.
The third Budget to be presented by Minister Caruana sees him retain the untraditional red brief case, a nod to Malta’s British past which he unveiled last year. Traditionally, Malta’s finance minister has held the official Budget document in a black brief case with Malta’s coat of arms embossed in gold.
Minister Caruana’s speech is expected to be heavily centred around the critical importance of retaining Malta’s electricity and fuel subsidies, which in the Government’s view, is a far more powerful tool to support businesses and families than any tax cuts or incentives.
In 2024, when factoring the subsidy costs for electricity, gas, fuel and the import of staple foods, government is forecasting a total expense of €350 million in 2024.
Budget 2024 will also see a Cost of Living Adjustment of €12.80 per week, much to the dismay of many employers already facing rising costs in the form of increased wage demands, import fees and general inflation. For context, spiraling inflation in 2022 due to the war in Ukraine and the after effects of the pandemic led to a 2023 COLA adjustment of €9.90, which had shocked employers. In 2022, the adjustment stood at a mere €1.75 per week.
Finance Minister Clyde Caruana / DOI Photo Omar Camilleri
The forum was chaired by Chief Officer of Financial Stability and Statistics Alan Cassar
While the local bond market has registered strong growth since 2019, there is a clear opportunity to accelerate this growth
The Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Malta Fund, used by banks to offer 0% green loans, has been fully utilised