Government spokesman Carmelo Abela this afternoon confirmed that the Budget 2015 will be presented on November 17, as revealed by Times of Malta last week.

He said the Opposition reply will be on November 24 with the prime minister reacting on the following day.

Earlier today the European Commission indicated that it would be approving the draft sent to it earlier this month.

The government has indicated it plans to use the budget to bring about a further shift in direct taxation to indirect taxation.

The government has already announced that the cost of living wage adjustment will  be 58c per week, but the prime minister said measures will be taken to help low income families.

Mr Abela also referred to the €13m increase in Malta's EU contribution requested by the European Commission. He said the request reflected the substantial growth in the Maltese economy. An EU foreign ministers' meeting would be held next week, he said, and if the EU request was seen to be justified, Malta would have no choice but to pay the bill.

Mr Abela was also asked about his salary, reportedly of €58,000. He said he had already given his explanations and he would let the people judge (see video).

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