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In his budget speech the Finance Minister Tonio Fenech noted that the Maltese economy is expected to grow by 1.2% this year. On the contrary the EU economy is expected to shrink by 0.4%.
During 2012, a number of economic sectors experienced a growth in value added, including financial services, ICT, professional, technical and scientific services, together with arts, entertainment and leisure.
Malta is experiencing very positive results in tourism while a number of factories have announced expansions. This is being translated into the creation of new jobs. At 6.5%, malta has the fifth lowest unemployment rate in Europe, the Minister said.
The main points of the Budget Speech are:
- Cost of Living Adjustement of €4.08 per week
- The top rate of income tax will, as from next year, go down from 35% to 32% for those on a single computation earning between €19,501 and €60,000; those on a joint computation earning between €28,701 and €60,000 and those on a parents’ computation earning between €21,201 and €60,000.
- Children’s allowance increases from €350 to €450, and to €527 for families dependent on a minimum wage
- Support to Enemalta (€25 m) is provided again for 2013 to ensure tariff stability
- Extension of Solar Water Heater rebate (40% up to max. €400 )
- 15.25% rebate up to €1,000 on double glazing and roof insulation
- Increase in excise duty on fuel consumption of 2c per litre on petrol and diesel and 5 euro per tonne on cement
- Euro 5 car registration tax is reduced by a maximum of 30%
- Euro 4 car registration tax is increased by an average of 10%
- Tax rate on commercial vehicles is reduced by 12.5% to incentive purchase of new cars
- 500 euro scrappage scheme for new private or commercial cars on scrappage of older vehicle
- Removal of registration tax on motorcycles with 250cc engine and 25% reduction on other engine capacities
- Removal of registration tax on classic cars aged 50 years and over
- Classic care definition is lowered from 35 to 30 years.
- Removal of annual circulation licence for classic cars. Replaced by administrative fee of €8
- Rebate scheme of €200 for conversion of cars to autogas
- Education budget is increased by €12 million to €390.7 million
- Construction of new Secondary schools in Ħal Kirkop, Raħal Ġdid, Sta Venera and Pembroke
- Continuation of works on 20,600 square metre site of the former Pace Grasso football ground in Paola to be converted in a Secondary school, resource centre for persons with a disability, a health centre and a parking
- A further increase in health expenditure of €38 million, to a total of €465 million
- Increase in 6% on excise duty on cigarettes and 8% on tobacco
- Expenditure on social benefits increases to €787 million, an increase of €37 million
- All social benefits will increase by the COLA amount, ensuring that around 112,000 persons do not lose out on any benefits
- €300 allowance announced last year for persons aged 80+ is extended to those aged 78+ and eventually to those aged 75+. 1.5 million euro vote per year
- Full COLA increase to the elderly
Liquigas also announced that the price of gas is to rise with the 12kg cylinder, which is the mostly widely used, costing €20.60, an increase of €1.00 since the last increase, also of €1.00, in September.
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