Editorial | Drawing up an economic vision not influenced by partisan politics

If the October budget refuses to look at the bigger picture and only consider the budget for an incumbent government seeking re-election it will have failed


Over the last months, there has been a disjointed effort to draw up an economic vision for this country. An oversized cabinet with ministers stepping on each other’s toes and overlapping over each other with remits that are often unnecessarily replicated in different ministries.   

It goes beyond reading between the lines bu ist evidenced by the duplication of debates and symposia outlining the vision for this country by different ministries.

Truthfully it has to be said that these fora have been opportunities for ministers to simply showcase themselves in the hope that they will have much needed media coverage – which they often interpret as occasions for retaining voters.

The truth is that our idea of economic vision has been to keep the construction industry alive at the cost of our cultural heritage and very limited footprint. The creative and controversial initiatives introduced by the Muscat administration related to the Golden Passports and those related to opening the financial services to dubious investors are on the way out.

Other initiatives namely artificial intelligence, crypto and medical marijuana amongst others have fallen by the wayside. Other teething problems such as the operations of banking facilities for new foreign companies have held back new investment. Together with a poor due diligence for foreign-based companies.

Malta’s economy moves ahead thanks to anarchy and absolute freedom to operate, but sooner or later the libertine approach to economic growth will stall due to the immense lackdaiscal approach to due dilgence and fiscal transparency.   

Malta’s business class has the ability to take advantage of the heavily politicised government agencies and accessible government which allows for businesses to make calculated decisions. By this we mean to refer to the tendering process and negotiated process in public procurement which has been appallingly abused.

Malta’s response to COVID-19 has been welcome, but it has only reconfirmed Malta’s strong dependence on the public sector, which continued to receive funds irrespective of the status of the country’s coffers.  While those in the private sector figured how to retain their operation afloat.

If the October budget refuses to look at the bigger picture and only consider the budget for an incumbent government seeking re-election it will have failed.

A forward-looking budget would do well to consider the serious over-bloated government sector especially in Gozo. In seeking new investment opportunities for the country. In ensuring an effective tax system that brings in much needed cash for the state coffers and fights rampant tax evasion. A budget that serves those segments of the economy (not construction) that need to grow and invest to attract more employment possibilities and growth.

Most needed is an economic vision drawn up by visionaries who are not dragged down by partisan politics or election issues

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