It wasn’t the Opposition which reported on the government’s €250m budget over-run. It was Malta Today.

Published: January 6, 2017 at 9:16pm

The Finance Minister said tonight that the government over-ran its 2016 budget by €158 million and not €250 million (so that’s all right, then).

He said that the figure of €250 million is “false” and that the Nationalist Party are “amateurs” to have quoted it.

But it wasn’t the Nationalist Party which first reported on the government’s €250 million budget over-run. It was the government’s favourite newspaper (now that Keith Schembri has lost Adrian Hillman at the Times of Malta/The Sunday Times), Malta Today, which researched the story and ran it. I remembered because I had found the story interesting, obviously, and discussed it here, with a link to Malta Today’s report.

Now for the really tough question: who do we choose to believe, the government or Malta Today?

“I love spending other people’s money, but I never spend my own if I can help it.”

  • pete ross

    Paul Cocks’s report for Malta Today is quite detailed. The Finance Minister could not deny the facts in it, so he had to go back to work during the Christmas holidays to massage the numbers and cook the books a little bit more than they have been cooked already. Although by now he had become an expert in his culinary job, all he managed was to reduce those damned €250 million by €90 million down to €159 million, which is still massive and immoral.

    Shall we expect more increases in fuel and other government services’ fees?

  • Godfrey Leone Ganado

    The Finance Minister, serking to justify an increase of 158 million euros in recurrent expenditure, said that the increase in revenue justified a similar increase in expenditure.

    This, in my personal judgement, is a very irresponsible statement which shows that the government is looking at short-term measures to boost its ego rather than at measures which are sustainable in the long term, should these increases in revenue, mainly through taxation, be lost as a result of political/economic/fiscal/regulatory decisions taken by the EU or individual countries which impact substantially on our competitiveness at a time when the government is not creating any economic alternatives.

    This is not the first time that Scicluna has made an irresponsible statement.

    Let’s not forget when he said that if the power purchase supply agreement/bank guarantee agreements had to be published they would damage our economy.

    Let’s not forget either, that he never censured Joseph Muscat when he said that he had taken measures to save Malta’s banks and never said why.

    • C.Serracino-Inglott

      Scicluna also voted in favour of Konrad Mizzi in the confidence vote in parliament.

    • Tabatha_White

      An increase of €158 million in recurrent expenditure alone is horrendous. And “recurrent expenditure” is the key word, since budgets have a tendency of expanding rather than the opposite.

      Was it so easy to play around re-pigeonholing the other €92 million?

      Is this Scicluna’s pride and joy function?

  • Rumplestiltskin

    So the overrun is ONLY 158 million euros. Let’s assume that this is correct.

    After all, the Minister of Finance assures us that it is ONLY 158 million, and the Minister is an honourable man.

    So is an overrun of 158 million euros acceptable? And what has the nation and its people obtained from this additional 158 million euros spent?

    Are all cancer patients now being given all their needed medication for free?

    Have there been sufficient affordable houses provided to ensure that everyone is living in decent dwellings?

    Has the price of petrol been reduced – oops, forget that one.

    There are so many things that one can do with ONLY 158 million euros besides travelling and employing ‘consultants,’ ‘communication advisers,’ and other ‘persons of trust..’