This is how media portals have presented the highlights of this year’s budget:
Malta Independent: Budget 2019: What’s in it for you?
Newsbook: X’kien fiha l-bagalja tal-baġit?
Addressing the press outside Castille, right after the Finance Minister delivered his budget speech in Parliament, the Prime Minister repeated a flurry of measures to help different sectors of society, while also speaking about a few which were not mentioned Finance Minister Edward Scicluna’s speech. The Malta Independent
Workers were seeing a reduction of their wages in real terms and the Budget had done nothing to address the situation, Opposition leader Adrian Delia said on Monday. He said the cost of living adjustment given in the Budget, at just €2.33, was literally eaten away just in the past few weeks with increases in food prices. Times of Malta
The Malta Employers’ Association said that the increase in leave for next year will have an impact on the productivity levels and sticks to its opinion that this is unnecessary. MEA said that Malta is one of the countries which has the most days of leave and public holidays. MEA also said that the 2019 Budget reflects the strong economy but also that it is necessary to envision the future. Lamenting that the budget “should have projected a more concrete vision for a sustainable economy”, the MEA noted current pressures on wages due to labour shortages and the increase of leave days may result in a wage spiral as companies seek to shift costs on consumers, and thusly increase inflation, which is project to increase to 1.9% in 2019.(Newsbook) / (Malta Independent) / (TVM)
The GRTU was also quite negative, describing the Budget as one which lacked creativity and did not reflect the prosperity currently being felt. It highlighted a few points which would help SMEs, but it was much harsher when it came to what was missing. It said its members expected a much greater reduction in taxes, particularly those which would help them compete against foreign entities. And it said that more had to be done to actively solve the lack of workers being felt. (Times of Malta)
The Chamber of Commerce noted that the Budget for 2019 was set against a backdrop of an economy that is performing well. From the data published with the budget, it has been confirmed that the country has continued to register positive economic expansion, relative price stability and almost full employment all of which have generated a positive effect on the state of public finances. (TVM)
The General Workers Union described the 2019 Budget as a positive one which not only satisfies today’s necessities but also strengthens future foundations. GWU said that the Government measures launched today will continue to strengthen vulnerable lives and address past injustices. GWU praised the increase in work leave for employees, the increase in pensions and childrens’ allowances as well as the social benefits. (Newsbook)
The Malta Union of Teachers has said that the budget is merely a continuation of the work done by the government in the education sector but made “no reference to the serious problems” facing the sector. In its initial reaction following the budget, the union noted positive measures in the ‘My Journey’ initiative, the strengthening of teaching foreign languages, and the studying of the link between secondary and post-secondary education. (Malta Independent) / One News
UHM – Voice of the Workers said the budget addresses certain pockets of society but lacks long-term economic vision.It noted several positive measures, such as the pensions increase, the COLA, the additional day of leave, free MATSEC exams and free cancer medicine. The union, however, said it was disappointed because a number of proposals it had put forward were not included in the budget. The union had called for protection for workers’ salaries, adding that nothing was being done to improve the quality of jobs and income. (Malta Independent) / UHM
The Malta Developers’ Associationsaid that it welcomed the budget as a budget for the people. It praised the fact that the first time buyers scheme and and measures for more affordable housing were introduced. One News
The Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses welcomed the Budget surplus, saying this should lead to further investment in the health sector addressing the problem of lack of professionals including of nurses and social workers. (Times of Malta)