SME Chamber

The looming 2014 Budget:

GRTU requests early maximum
information on Budget 2014 Fiscal Strategy – During the MCESD meeting last Monday 22nd July
Director General Vincent Farrugia highlighted the importance that business
knows where Government is heading from now till October 15, 2013. That is the
date by which Government has to present to the EU Commission the Malta
Government draft Budget for 2014, incorporating new fiscal measures to meet the
new Budget Deficit targets.

No discussion has as yet been held at MCESD on
the most essential reports submitted by the EU Commission to the Maltese
Government incorporating preventive and corrective measures that Malta
Government is instructed to act upon, in reply to what the Malta Government had
presented to the EU Commission, under the Malta National Reform Programme and
the Stability and Convergence Plans. The Country Specific Recommendation to the
Malta Government are published as is published the 2013 Stability and
Convergence Programme Overview by the Commission.

GRTU expected these documents to be presented,
assessed in detail and recommendations made at MCESD level, so that the
Ministry of Finance will be in a position to draft Budget 2014 incorporating
what MCESD social partners propose. This discussion at MCESD had been formally
demanded by GRTU but unfortunately, rather than prioritising economic and
social issues as highlighted by the EU Commission, Malta's top priority agenda
of the new MCESD leadership for the last weeks was different and they preferred
to highlight other issues.

The situation now is that we are only ten weeks
away from the presentation of the first draft of Budget 2014 to the EU
Commission for approval. No Pre-Budget Document has been published in Malta
this year. Government has boldly stated that the Council of Ministers is
determined to put the Budget Deficit vs GDP ratio back to 2.7% by the end of
2014 to avoid further EU imposed punishment under the Excessive Budgetary
Procedure. Yet MCESD is completely absent. The pre-Budget in discussion still
in the air.

"Businesses enterprises cannot just plan in a
vacuum. They need to know as early as possible Malta's Government fiscal
proposals for 2014. It is important for businesses, large, medium, small and
micro to know as early as possible what measures and economic incentives
Government is launching to boost Government revenue, reduce public expenditure
and generate growth to GDP so that the targeted 2.7% deficit to GDP ratio can
be achieved. The sooner we know the better. Investment and generation of jobs
depend on future planning." Vince Farrugia emphasised at MCESD.



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