Fabian Demicoli

A Budget that steers us away from worry and stimulates trust

GRTU considers this Budget as being on the right track and one that continues to steer our county away from worries. This is a strong and determined Budget in the circumstances we are facing today. It continues to substantially invest in new capital and new schemes that enhance the productive ability of SMEs, while at the same time helping families and the vulnerable sectors. The focus on giving new stimulus to consumer confidence is particularly important at this time where the consumer is surrounded by negative news. 


Budget 2012 has a total expenditure of €3.106B representing 45% of the total Maltese GDP, an increase of 7.4% on the cost of last year. GRTU is pleased that Government stayed away from increasing public spending unnecessarily but GRTU believes that Government could have reduced it further. GRTU however is satisfied that finally the lowering of the deficit is being addressed.

The GRTU positively assess the number of schemes that the Government is maintaining and for which it is increasing allocated funds for the largest number of enterprises in Malta, the SMEs represented by the GRTU. The GRTU particularly expresses its satisfaction that Government accepted GRTU's key proposal to create a Government guaranteed bank loan scheme. This is an excellent scheme that goes beyond the limits of the Micro Credit Scheme as it allows more intensive borrowings that can be utilised not only for expanding operations but also to help a large number of enterprises get out from the enormous cash-flow problems they are currently in.

Budget 2012 also positively puts on the table a number of other schemes to boost different small sectors in the field of creativity and culture, information technology and other areas that continue fostering options of investment for SMEs. Government is increasing it's efforts to encourage people that could be productive to stay, enter or re-enter the labour market such as women, youths and seniors.

Something that therefore seems odd to the GRTU is that Government failed to take-up GRTU's request to relieve the elderly from social contributions to encourage them to stay in the world of work. On the same lines Government should also have accepted GRTU's request that those people whose work and productivity is required for the benefit of the country to pay only the 15% tax rate. 

In particular the GRTU expresses its satisfaction for the innovative scheme targeting parents to relieve them of some of the cost of raising children by reducing their taxes and therefore increasing their purchasing power.

GRTU in its proposals for Budget 2012 also presented a strong package on what should be done to assist the economy within the localities and in particular has pointed out at the use of many empty properties spread throughout Malta and regrets that Government took very little from these suggestions. GRTU however is satisfied that the Government is incentivising individuals to regenerate their property through tax advantages.

The strategy adopted by GRTU for Budget 2012 sought to boost the fixed capital formation essential for economic development. In this regard this Budget includes a number of interesting incentives to foster private sector capital investment. GRTU also emphasises that capital expenditure must continue to be specifically addressed to young entrepreneurs and not just to large contractors. This year many small contractors succeeded in winning works to be carried out on public roads and Government must ensure that this continues to happen. 

In its proposals GRTU also presented a set of proposals targeted at the creation of green jobs. GRTU in particular had called on Government to create the structures needed to operate the scheme that utilises electronic and electrical waste (WEEE) which would have served as a source of new and specialized jobs in the sector of Waste Management.

The GRTU also considers as positive the schemes that Government is operating for the replacement of high emission cars and another scheme that will hopefully put an end the history of unpaid licenses. The GRTU also congratulates the Government in finally stopping the imposition of a television license, something that GRTU has been insisting on for years. 

GRTU expects greater efforts in 2012 against the large number of free riders that are evading tax creating unfair competition.

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