The Malta Budget 2019 speech was always likely to start off with emphasising Malta’s economic success over the past years. In fact, the Minister of Finance noted a Budget surplus of nearly €400 million, low levels of unemployment and a strong growth in GDP.
The social measures announced as well as the recently published white paper 'Renting as a Housing Alternative' are important measures aimed at assisting the more vulnerable. Also welcoming was a further investment in healthcare capital expenditure projects yet the amount to be invested and the timing of the investment was not announced.
A significant part of the Malta Budget 2019 speech covered the fact that Malta shall introduce within its laws, as it is committed to do by its EU obligations, the Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive. This, together with other fiscal measures announced constituted a more interesting part of the Budget.
A critical and important announcement are the 45 action plans aimed at combating money laundering, which shall be introduced over a period of 3 years.
Similarly, Fintech initiatives, Brexit and the role which Malta Enterprise will play to assist Maltese companies servicing the UK Market, the expanded role of the Malta Stock Exchange and the establishment of The Malta Digital Innovation Authority with the consequent role which this will play in the Blockchain industry are all interesting measures which hopefully will be implemented sooner, rather than later.
As always, the Budget 2019 will now be discussed in Parliament in the coming weeks.