Following the publication of the 2022 Budget, the Nationalist Party has unveiled four billboards to warn about the state of the Maltese economy.
Located in strategic points around the country, the billboards read “The worst recession in 40 years”, “The second worst deficit in Europe”,“They robbed your children’s future through greylisting” and “€2.3 billion of new debt in your name”.
Malta’s deficit and national debt shot up during the COVID-19 pandemic and has been forecast for 11.1% for 2022, down from 12% forecast last April.
Finance Minister Clyde Caruana has stated that the pandemic has so far cost the country around €1.5 billion.
However, Opposition leader Bernard Grech has claimed that the scale of the deficit was not due to the pandemic, but due to corruption and a lack of direction form the government.
Health Minister Chris Fearne dismissed this logic today, noting that Malta had provided free COVID-19 testing to everyone, set up vaccination centres and accompanying labs around the island, given a wage supplement to thousands of workers and rolled out two rounds of vouchers.
“The alternative would have been unemployment, poverty, sickness and death. This wasn’t on our agenda. For us, health, work and people’s livelihoods remain a priority and that is why we have a high deficit this year,” Fearne said.
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