Finance Minister Edward Scicluna said this evening that employers were finding it difficult to find workers and Malta therefore needed to create job-seeker schemes.

Speaking at a public consultation meeting on the Budget, he said Malta needed some 70,000 more people in employment.

At the same time there were thousands of vacancies, and employers were finding it hard to find employees.

Malta, he said, needed to invest more in systems that helped employers find prospective employees who fitted the job criteria. Malta was one of the least countries that invested in job-seeking schemes, he added.

Answering a question about tackling extreme poverty brought by disability, Prof Scicluna said that in order to provide more social benefits, the government needed to either raise more taxes or reallocate its resources by tracking the source of waste.
He said the government might have to reduce its expenditure in some areas to increase it in others.

Another way was to increase the workforce, but Malta needed some 70,000 more people in employment to get back on its feet, he said.

“The economy is moving more slowly than we’d like it to, and slower than what the country needs for the creation of jobs. If we look at Greece, Spain and other countries doing worse than us, Malta’s situation looks good, but we also have to look at those countries doing better than us,” Prof Scicluna said.

He added that Malta had much less than half the population working, so it did not have enough people to pay social contributions to fund current pensions and other benefits.   


He noted that not all parents afforded going out for work as they did not have anyone to leave their children with. The government was planning to set up free child-care centres and strengthen the Klabb 3-16.
A white paper will be issued about the standards and administration regulations of child care centres, he said. as a means of enabling more women to go to work.

The minister also made reference to a €400,000 direct order issued on March 8 for advertising the Budget. These were meant to be paid to one company, he said. “I believe the amount is exaggerated, so I stopped the process,” he said.

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