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No reason for Budget not to be approved - PM

Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi said this evening that there was no reason why the Budget should not be approved by the House of Representatives.

This Budget, he told a press conference, brought to a close a legislature which had gone through a difficult scenario which had affected all countries. Malta had managed to swim through the rough sea, he told a press conference.

He thanked all those who had worked hard to enable this to happen and said that at the end of the legislature the government had put its cards on the table and presented its concrete proposals of what should be done over the coming year. It was now for the people to decide.

If the Budget was not approved, everyone would have to shoulder his responsibility.

Dr Gonzi refused to hypotisize on the election date if the Budget was defeated but said parliament would be dissolved and everyone would have to shoulder his responsibility.

Asked what woudl happen to the Budget measures if the Budget was not approved, he said the measures were  dependant on the Budget being approved, although they may be approved later in the year.

Dr Gonzi also explained how the Budget was two pronged - aimed at strengthening the economy and putting more money in the people's pockets. It built on the tax reductions of the past few years. The fact that the government had placed the country's finances on a firm footing meant that an exercise could start to reduce the top rate of tax and introduce other measures including higher children's allowance and other improvements to the social benefits.

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