Following both the presentation of the budget for 2022 and the Nationalist Party’s rebuttal to this presentation, Finance Minister Clyde Caruana has responded to Bernard Grech’s claims of government proposing a budget lacking credibility. Addressing a press conference alongside Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne, Caruana insisted that he will not take lessons from a party which presided over an economic disaster when in power.
Grech criticised the budget yesterday after its presentation and said that it was one that lacked vision and only addressed present day concerns. Most notably, he accused the Labour government of increasing the country’s debt and deficits. Caruana however responded by saying that ‘all of a sudden’, the PN’s narrative has changed. This is because, according to the Finance Minister, the government ‘pulled the carpet out from under their legs.’
He said that the budget’s sustainability will have to be approved by the European Commission and how he was careful to explain exactly how much all measures would cost. He highlighted how the Opposition did not present its own costs when presenting proposals. In terms of national debt, Caruana said that this was lower than its highest point under the last Nationalist administration.
Fearne also bit back, saying that according to Grech’s logic, there must have been a lot of corruption under a Nationalist government because the deficit was always high. This is because Grech claimed that defect was high due to the current administration’s corruption. Fearne instead highlighted that the reason deficit was so high was because Malta provided free COVID-19 testing to everyone, set up vaccination centres and labs and succeeded in vaccinating the entire population.
The alternatives would have been unemployment, poverty, sickness and death, said Fearne. He framed the budget as one reflecting that the country was recovering and is able to live again in a normal future.
Photo Source: Bernard Grech FB, Clyde Caruana FB