On 4th November 2013¸ the Minister of Finance – Hon. Prof. Edward Scicluna presented the Budget 2014 to the House of Representatives. Government will be implementing a number of supply-side policies which aim to improve the country’s potential growth and other policies aimed at ensuring sustainability of the country’s public finances.
The excise tax on cigarettes and tobacco¸ fuel¸ alcoholic drinks and beer¸ cement¸ bunkering fuel and car licences is expected to contribute to an increase of €21.4 million in revenue.
– Tobacco products (cigarettes will suffer. An additional €5 excise tax per 1¸000 cigarettes);
– Excise duty on alcoholic beverages is being increased at rates of between 2.5% and 15%¸ depending on the type ofproduct.
– Excise duty on cementis being increased by €10 to €27 per 1000kg.
Government will be introducing a new system enabling the recovery of banderol expenses
RAISING OUTPUT POTENTIAL
The Government priority is to raise potential output¸ in particular through “increasing the labour force participation¸ especially of women¸ raising skill and education levels¸ promoting lifelong learning¸ and increasing productive capital investments.” Amongst the other measure¸ the most prominent are as follow:
1. Free Childcare Centres and Breakfast Club – free childcare centres will be set up in order to encourage Maltese women to enter the labour market. Also to ease the womens’ return to the labour market¸ the ‘Breakfast Club’ service will be introduced. It aims to provide a one hour care service before the school opens
2. Piloting computer tablets in schools – in 2014 selected schools will be participating in the pilot project ‘One Tablet per Child’. It is envisaged that via this pilot project¸ students become computer-savvy from a younger age.
3. Encouraging the unemployed to follow full-time courses – persons in receipt of social or unemployment assistance for more than five years who start a full-time course will not lose the said assistance.
4. Youth Guarantee¸ Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme and Apprenticeship Reform – the European Commission is urging Member States to introduce concrete measures to lessen youth unemployment. Malta is working on such a plan. In 2014¸ the Jobs+ Committee will launch this initiative which will address 350 NEETs.
To see detailed analysis of ALL measures announced¸ please check following LINK