Principal Permanent Secretary Mario Cutajar said in a press conference that over two-thirds of measures promised during the 2021 budget in 2020 were enacted into policy and functioning. Almost half of these are related to social assistance, with the government being able to implement 364 measures announced in last year’s budget as well as an additional 159 projects which were projected for completion in 2021.
Cutajar was speaking one week before next year’s budget is due to be presented in parliament as the Budget 2022 speech is set for October 11th. The purchase of COVID-19 vaccines, the voucher scheme, community policing, free internet to post-secondary students, Gozo fast ferry services, health centre modernisation, tele care improvement and financial schemes aiding the purchase of personal homes were some of the concluded projects.
In terms of projects which began this year but are set to be completed at a future date include the Central Link Project, the Marsaxlokk breakwater, the construction of a new school in Qawra and the closure of the fuel storage facility in Birzebbuga. Cutajar stated that any measure which had not been fulfilled would be rolled over into next year’s budget and no proposals were about to be put on the shelf indefinitely.
Cutajar pointed out how 49% were related to social projects, 26% to improving the environment and 25% addressed economic needs. He also highlighted how the government has achieved a 72% completion rate of budget proposals over the past eight years. 1,970 budget proposals have been implemented over that time period. This year, the government fulfilled 79% of budget promises, an increase of 7% over the average.
Finance Minister Clyde Caruana said that all the new proposals and financial estimates for next year’s budget have been closed. He said that the resilience and work that the government had put into supporting health services and the economy would emerge as a clear narrative in his speech. He also claimed that compared to other countries, Malta managed to address the pandemic successfully, even though we were not perfect.
Photo Source: Clyde Caruana FB