Updated - Fenech outlines cost of PN electoral promises
Tablets programme to cost €23.7m
Updated - PN costings presentation on pdf below - Finance Minister Tonio Fenech this afternoon gave details of the cost of programmes unveiled in the PN electoral programme and said they would not detract from the government's aim of achieving a balanced budget by 2015-16
Speaking at PN headquarters, he said realistic forecasts of economic performance showed economic growth of 3.2 per cent in real terms by 2017 in a no-policy change scenario. Growth in nominal terms would be a maximum of 5.6 per cent.
He said the PN was proposing a number of measures to boost job-creation including childcare facilities, which on their own would cost €5m per year. Business promotion incentives including incentives for business start-ups would cost €7 million per year.
The budget of the Malta Tourism Authority would rise by €3m a year.
Tax cuts announced in the Budget to reduce the top income tax rate to 25 per cent as well as adjustment of other tax bands and the removal of duties on the transfer of property from parents to their children by donation or inheritance would cost the government €60 million in revenue.
In the health sector, €15m more would be spent in the first year on additional medicines, including refunds for those who needed to buy their own medicines when those in government dispensaries were out of stock. Total additional outlay on the health sector, including the focus on primary health care and on diabetes, would cost €78 million.
In education, spending on stipends adjusted for the cost of living would cost €10m, €12m would be spent on scholarships. Another €12m would be spent over five years to encourage students to go abroad and learn languages.
A total of €5m would be allocated in incentives for those who used electric cars.
The €1,000 pension account for newborns would cost €4m per year while the Independent Community Living Fund would cost €5m a year.
Additional assistance to pensioners aged over 75 would rise to €500 per year per person.
Pension adjustments, including the end of deductions for those who had a service pension would cost the government €40m.
Measures to improve security in Malta's roads, including additional policemen on the beat would cost €4m per year.
Measures and incentives to create jobs in Gozo and promote tourism in Gozo would cost €10 million.
These, Mr Fenech said, were just recurrent expenditure and excluded measures already announced in the Budget.
Mr Fenech said an additional €100m would be given in assistance to industry through Malta Enterprise including tax credits, grants and energy incentives.
€40 million would be available for a new development bank.
€10m would be routed towards various projects, including a breakwater at Marsaxlokk.
For the health sector, €22m would go for a new Rehabilitation Centre.
The tablet devices programme unveiled by the party last week would cost €23.7m of which €15.7m would come from national funds and the rest from the EU.
The fund for capital projects in independent schools would grow to €2m a year.
The government would spend €6m a year on a new school and allocate €40m for the university and €100m for a new Mcast campus.
Incentives for clean energy would cost €50m over four years.
€15m would be spent every year on roads in Malta and €1m a year in Gozo while the Valletta projects would cost €34m.
Compensation for expropriated properties, some of which went back many years, would cost €60m more over four years.
€4m per year would go for eco-Gozo.
Mr Fenech said the government intended to conduct an expenditure review of recurrent spending to identify spending efficiency of two per cent - or between €60m and €90m. This was doable in a total spending of some €3 billion, he said.
There would also be increased efforts against tax evasion to recover €25 million.
See the costings in the presentation prepared by the PN by clicking the pdf below.