The Opposition has criticised the Government because, it argues, the allocated capital expenditure in Budget 2024 is not enough.
In reality, next year the allocation for this purpose is €905 million. This is well above the historical average and almost two-and-a-half-times the capital expenditure that was allocated in 2012 under the last Nationalist government.
Capital expenditure – a comparison
|Budget 2012||Budget 2024|
|Roads||€19 million||€84 million|
|Education||€44 million||€92 million|
|Health||€14 million||€81 million|
|Gozo||€13 million||€20 million|
|Infrastructure||€64 million||€206 million|
|Other expenditure||€241 million||€422 million|
|Total||€397 million||€905 million|
Opposition spokespersons have argued that there has been a reduction in the vote for investment on roads, even though an expenditure of no less than €84 million has been pencilled in, between European and local funds next year. This is four-and-a-half times the amount that had been spent in 2012.
In education, those who today boast about the records of GonziPN, have forgotten that the Nationalist administration used to invest less than half the allocation made for 2024.
In health the difference is even starker. While in 2012 there was a small allocation of €14 million, next year spending will surmount €81 million, or almost six times the amount of 2012. Even compared with 2019, there is a big leap, with capital investment in education and health doubling.
In infrastructure, next year capital spending is expected to top €206 million, with special investment on energy distribution. This investment will be three times that in 2012, while the allocation for Gozo will be one-and-a half-times than it was under GonziPN.
Even on other aspects, the capital vote allocated by the current administration is far more than that of Nationalist administrations. For instance, there is an allocation of around €72 million between investment in industrial infrastructure and investment incentives. This is not only much more than in 2012, but almost double the amount allocated a year ago. In fact, in 2024 the Government will start building several factories, mostly in the field of microchips.
In addition to this public capital expenditure, the Budget also contains an allocation of around €100 million to help private firms invest, mainly to make the environmental and digital core. This explains why all foreign institutions are predicting that investment will grow next year and achieve a new record level.
Green and open spaces
One must also note the strong vote in favour of green areas and open spaces. For 2024 there is a vote of €27 million under the Ministry for the Environment and €17 million under the Ministry of Public Works. Next year, 80,000 square metres of new spaces are expected to be created or regenerated, equivalent to 11.5 times the size of the national stadium.