Four international reports
confirm Malta’s impressive economic performance, debunk false notions
The reports published by credit
rating agency Fitch, the European Commission, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), confirm the positive results of policies
undertaken by Government, and
debunk false notions being reported in the media.
This statement was made today
during a press conference addressed by Minister for Finance Edward Scicluna and
Parliamentary Secretary for the EU Presidency 2017 and EU Funds Ian Borg at the
Ministry for Finance.
Minister Scicluna referred to the
Fitch rating report, as well
as the Country Report and the Winter Forecast published by the European
Commission, as well as the
IMF country report, which
were published earlier this month. He explained the function of each of the
four reports, which examined the Maltese economy’s past - and expected results - which are positive under many aspects.
He described how the reports directly discredit certain notions perpetrated in the media, namely
that government expenditure is out of control, and that poverty is on the rise. The four reports, said Minister
Scicluna, confirmed that besides increased economic growth, Malta is succeeding
in distributing wealth in a better way, and that more people are accessing such
Furthermore, reports which showed
that the top local wage earners earn four times the wage of a bottom earner
actually show that income disparity in Malta is one of the lowest in the world.
With regards to government expenditure, the Minister said that the latest
government statistics showed that government debt and deficit have fallen in
January 2017, when compared
to January 2016. It was also shown
that government recurrent expenditure showed a moderate rise, comparable with
pay rises as agreed by standing collective agreements.
“In the run-up to next year’s general election, I
appeal to the opposition to
come up with policy suggestions which are properly costed and to not make
unrealistic promises which trigger a race to the bottom and harm the economy,” Minister Scicluna said.
During the press conference, Parliamentary Secretary for the
EU Presidency 2017 and EU Funds Ian Borg analysed the Malta European
Commission’s Annual Growth Survey,
which not only is positive to
the GDP, but also strong with
regards to employment rates, and showing significant growth in
employment rates amongst women, which
is above the EU average. Parliamentary
Secretary Borg emphasized
that EU funds are leaving a positive impact on Malta’s economic growth, such as poverty reduction and social exclusion. Malta is addressing the
social challenges and strengthening policies for active inclusion.
Parliamentary Secretary Ian Borg stated that Government has invested
significantly in the educational
sector over the past years,
also with the aid of EU Funds schemes like the Youth Guarantee and Access to
Employment, worth €4 million
and €12 million respectively. The latter helps employers, and around four hundred persons are already benefiting
from the scheme. Another successful scheme, amounting to €6 million, is aimed at traineeships and to provide work exposure,
which six hundred persons annually are already making use
Borg also mentioned the investment taking place in MCAST, and referred to the
recent VET Labs investment,
which will involve the
setting up of a total of forty-four labs in eleven schools in Malta, and four VET labs in a school in
Gozo, as well as the second phase of the MCAST Campus
Master-Plan in Corradino, with
a total projected cost of €33
million, out of which
€31 million are EU funded. The amount invested will be three times more than the amount spent in Phase 1.
Parliamentary Secretary Borg concluded by saying that more
funds under the 2014-2020 will be channelled in Research, Development and
Innovation, an area valued at
some €70 million.