On the evening of Monday 19 October 2020, with a speech lasting about two hours addressed to the Parliament, the Minister of Finance Edward Scicluna presented Budget 2021, the budgetary manoeuvre that outlines political guidelines and measures planned by the Government for the coming year.
Before addressing, in detail and on several occasions, the various measures included in the maxi measure, we propose a “hot” summary of the main points that go to compose what Prime Minister Robert Abela has defined as the most ambitious budget in the history of the Republic of Malta.
The Budget is divided into six main categories: social measures, economy, environment, public order, education and health, infrastructure.
These are the most significant interventions planned for 2021:
– Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) is €1.75c per week
– For pensioners, a pension increase will see the total adjustment be of €5 per week
– An additional day of vacation leave
– Fourth round of tax refunds, now increased to a maximum of €95, will be distributed
– Another round of COVID-19 vouchers – €60 for accommodation and restaurants, and €40 for retail and services – will be issued
– An increase in Children’s Allowance of up to €70.
– An increase in adoption and fostering allowances, with a new €1,000 grant for local adoptions
– Further incentives for private pension schemes, with a tax exemption now up to €3,000.
– An increase in the Supplementary Assistance allowance
– At-risk-of poverty grant extended
– Increase in Carer’s Allowance to €6,000, scheme extended to people caring for disabled persons
– €9 million allocated to address past injustices
– First Time Buyers scheme ceiling upped to €200,000
– Wage Supplement extended until March, with adjustments possible later this year or early next year
– Quarantine leave to be extended
– Threshold of businesses exempt from VAT increased from €20,000 to €30,000.
– Government to give refund taxes paid on Pitkalija and Pixkerija sales
– More incentives on renewable energy
– Importation of single-use plastics to stop on 1 January 2021, sale to be banned in 2022
– Car scrappage scheme ceiling increased to €7,000
– €11 million investment in sports facilities and more investment in social housing
– More medicines to be added to government formulary
– A new blood bank to be built
– One year’s free internet for children who continue to study after 16 years of age
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