Blog post by Marica Micallef
So, while the government wants to make us think that everything is under control and that we should stay positive, we know that the reality out there is very different. Last year, the government deficit shot up to €1.3 billion. This year, it is not going to be anything less. However, Finance Minister Clyde Caruana has pledged that this deficit won’t be repaid by introducing new taxes or increasing the current ones. So, can he explain to the public how this deficit will be repaid? We all remember the sacrifices that the Maltese public was asked to do under the Nationalist Party of Lawrence Gonzi, to pay the deficit that Malta had at the time.
So, my question is how does the government plan to restart the economy, without affecting the people? May I remind the public that the government has postponed the payment of provisional tax, social contributions of self-employed persons, and Value Added Tax that fall between August 2020 and December 2021. This payment will start seeing its settlement from May 2022. Will this payment be doable and afforded? Would the business liquidity improve enough for these payments to be done? If other people are running low on money, wouldn’t the profit of business owners be affected? Aren’t we all a chain, affecting each other economically? Aren’t we already going to witness the abolishing of VAT exemption for online purchases of under €22 as from July? Aren’t all these factors slowly piling up to make up a heap of an economical disaster?
Clyde Caruana said that the government took all the necessary precautions since health experts had told them that Malta would see 5,000 deaths in the coming months. 5000 deaths? We barely reached 500, let alone! So, did the government spend haphazardously? Did it miscalculate? Will it be proven one day that the “desperately needed ventilators, testing kits and PPEs” were not needed at all and thus, their expenditure, was for nothing? Is Malta running dry? Will the supply chain of our food and energy provisions be affected in the near future?
Will Clyde Caruana’s statement – that they made sure to safeguard “the lives and livelihoods of the Maltese”  be credible and live up to its meaning, in the near future? Time will tell.