Budget 2024: fact-checking 10 PN claims

What the PN is saying vs the real facts and figures.

Fact-checking 10 PN claims regarding Budget 2024

What the Nationalist Party is saying  The real facts and figures    
The national debt is growing out of controlNational debt in 2012 was almost 70% of GDP; now it is 53%A year ago, the Minister for Finance projected a debt ratio of 59%, but in fact it was limited to 53%Eurostat indicates that, in Q1 2023, Malta was among the top five when it comes to debt reduction
The government is spending too muchThe European Commission has indicated that the government is increasing spending as agreed, as it did not send any letter asking for clarifications to the BudgetRecurrent expenditure for 2023 will be lower than that approved a year ago (€40 million less)The deficit for this year (5%) is lower than had been forecast (5.5%)
€400 million paid to hospital concessionaires were all stolen public funds  Most of the payments were for medical services, equipment purchases, and wagesNext year’s cost will be greater than the payments made to the concessionairesThe government is working to recover unjustified payments
Capital expenditure is low and below previous yearsCapital expenditure of €905 million, or €2.5 million per dayCapital expenditure is greater than the average allocation of last 5 yearsThe allocation is two-and-a-half times that of 2012
Malta has a dysfunctional economic modelThe Maltese economy is growing ten times the European averageThe unemployment rate is the lowest in the Euro areaCredit rating agencies are awarding an A+ certificate to Malta
Our country’s economy runs on cheap labourAverage pay today is almost 40% higher than in 2012The number of managers and professionals has doubledThere are 53,000 more graduates in work than in 2012
Government has admitted that the number of vulnerable families has increased greatly this yearThose in severe material deprivation have fallen by 2,000 in the last yearThe number of persons dependent on social assistance is decreasing and is less than half the 2012 levelThe additional cost of living benefit now also covers income brackets up to the median national income, not just those at risk of poverty
This was a Budget that forgot the middle classThanks to €350 million subsidies Malta has the cheapest electricity bills and fuel prices in the Euro areaThe Budget announced the biggest increase ever in children’s allowanceA new €1,500 allowance for parents whose children are continuing to study was introduced
Inflation in Malta is higher than in EuropeThe reason why the EU’s inflation rate shows a decline this year is that it is no longer boosted by the sharp rise in energy prices seen last yearMalta’s price index is 4% lower than that of the EUIf one excludes energy prices, Malta’s rate is 4.6%, versus 4.9% in the EU
The Budget has no economic vision and incentives for new sectorsIt doubles industrial incentives, to €60 millionIt has an allocation of €12 million for new industrial investment It announces a new framework for real estate investment trusts, family offices, Blue Med, offshore renewable energy, the microchip sector, and €100 million for businesses
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