Malta's Economic Growth Needs To Slow Down, Finance Minister Says
Malta's infrastructure may not be be able to handle the pressures that come with an economic boom
Malta's economic growth may be regularly held up as a sign that the current administration is performing miracles in Malta, but the Minister of Finance seems to think we might be growing a bit too fast.
In comments made today, Edward Scicluna said that Malta's outstanding economic growth needs to slow down over the next few years so that Malta's infrastructure can catch up and be able to address new pressures that are coming with a booming economy.
“We would be happy to retain the 6 percent growth per year, but this needs to go down to at least 5.7 percent. The reason for this is that such growth puts pressure on infrastructure, which wasn’t prepared for it. Many sectors weren’t ready for the expansion and it has presented the government with new responsibilities,” he said today during the Labour Party's annual conference today.
Dr Scicluna takes the podium at around 4:40 in the video above
Just last year, Malta experienced a growth rate of 7.1%, which Scicluna himself said had happened too quickly
Though he went on to say that Malta had a clear, sustainable model for growth, and he was fully in support of the economic steps his administration had taken, rising costs, including high rents and even higher land prices, and stagnating wages has raised the concern of an economy that is moving ahead faster than the country is.
“We grew consistently from 2013 onwards and have now seen that last year ended with the third surplus in a row. By 2020, however, we hope to limit this growth and slow things down,” Scicluna said, noting that now that people were expecting more than ever from certain sectors, such as education and health.
However, the Minister reiterated the fact that investment remains a key priority for the government, saying: “We want to keep investing the money that the government is generating. We don’t want to create expenses from which we never get our money back."
Cover photo: Jeremy Wonnacott