Bait or bomb?
What is in store for us, Mr Dalli
Once again, November has crept around the corner and Budget Day is
already upon us. This evening Finance Minister Mr John Dalli will spell
out the economic conditions that we are to live by over the next year.
However, despite the dire foretelling that have been issued from various
camps, there are unmistakably strong indications that this years
budget will be positive, with a fair share of benevolence thrown in
for good measure.
For starters, it is certain that the governments fiscal targets
will be reached ahead of their deadlines.
One should expect the introduction of a substantial impetus to spurn
the development of the countrys small and medium sized enterprises,
the backbone of a good economy. In this vein, due consideration is likely
to be given to the middle classes, which was on the receiving end of
the brunt of last years budgetary measures.
Mr Dalli is also expected to lay out the red carpet for the governments
privatisation drive, the announcement of which is long overdue. It is
also expected that the players of the Malta Stock Exchange should react
positively to the furnishing of the drives concrete details.
Indeed, a kind budget for next year will come as a breath of fresh air
to both the business community and the population as a whole
after the dark clouds that had formed in the wake of the last budget,
which held no favourable surprises for anyone.
A simple application of common sense should tell anyone that this afternoons
measures should be widely placating, given that this could very well
one of the last budgets before the next elections and the present administration
could undoubtedly do well with scoring some points.
Despite the difficult times of late, the turmoil of the worlds
financial markets and the slow down and practical stagnation of certain
sectors, one must say that Malta has not fared badly at all. New businesses
are still being created and the unemployment rate is holding relatively
steady, which is more than can be said for many economies.
Mr Dalli is also expected to be concentrating on means of incentivising
business growth, while also ensuring competitivity.
The bulging and unwieldy public sector is expected to be toned down
a few notches and measures to ensure cost effectiveness in this sphere
should be introduced.
Tax evasion measures should be fortified. In fact, one of the only parties
that is expected to be grossly disappointed by this afternoons
budgetary measures will be the countrys notorious tax evaders.
Mr Dalli, only yesterday, said that the government will be reaping the
harvest of the Tax Compliance Unit to the tune of Lm40 million over
the next five years.
In short, Mr Dalli this afternoon may well be revealing his more generous
side while also ensuring that Maltese businesses have a future to look
forward to. This he will do after having steered through some difficult
We are all dying to see what is in store for the business and financial