Cost of living increase
Measures relating to employment
Similarly to previous years, the portion of the service pension not to be reduced from the retirement pension is being increased by a further €200. Service pensioners over the age of 72 years will also be entitled to a similar increased benefit.
The possibility to continue working beyond retirement age up to 65 years in order to increase pension entitlement (where applicable), is also being gradually extended to employees working in the public sector.
Measures relating to self-employment
Similarly to employed persons, self-employed persons who for certain reasons had to stop working will have a right to receive unemployment benefits in line with the social security contributions paid during their period of self-employment.
A compensation of €1.50 per day will be granted to each Gozitan government employee organising shared transportation services from Cirkewwa to their place of work.
With effect from 1 January 2019, as part of the extension to the ‘Gozitan Works Subsidy’, a refund of the ferry ticket fare will be given to Gozitan employees employed with the private sector.
Aid to Gozitan tertiary education students renting out accommodation in Malta.
Extension of the scheme implemented last year whereby entrepreneurs offering a minimum of a 3 year full time contract of employment in Gozo to an employee will receive a 30% refund (up to a maximum of €6,000) calculated on the employee’s average wage.
Other social measures
Families with gross income of less than €20,000 will receive a maximum increase in children’s allowance of €96 per year per child.
€50m investment for the construction of almost 700 social housing units. Part of the investment is being funded from the National Development and Social Fund.
Introduction of benefits for members of the Disciplined Forces in the case of fatal incidents or permanent disabilities sustained during the carrying out of their duties.
A grant of €300 will continue to be paid to each person who is 75 years and over and still living in his/ her own household.
The bonus for persons who are not entitled to receive a pension will increase by €50 per annum.
Allocation of €11 million for the continuation of the fund created to cater for inequalities suffered by persons in the past due to changes in the pensions system.
Re-issue of Savings Bonds for pensioners who are over 62 years of age.
Eligibility for the Carers' Allowance will no longer be subject to means testing.
Payments made to persons with severe disability will increase by €10 per week, from €140 to €150 per week.
The allowance for parents with children suffering from a physical or mental disability will increase by €5 per week.
A white paper has been launched addressing issues related to property rental agreements, including obligatory registration of rental contracts.
A new scheme will be introduced to reduce the rental burdens for persons whose gross income does not exceed the established benchmark while their current rent exceeds the rental benchmarks applicable under such scheme. An aid of between €3,000 and €5,000 per year will be granted according to the circumstances of the particular family.
Culture and tourism
Measures relating to education and sport
Government to waive all fees on SEC and MATSEC exams.
Gradual removal of mid year exams and introducing a system of continuous assessment.
The introduction, including training to teachers, of an educational campaign on nutrition and healthy eating.
Development of a national strategy for sports and various plans for upgrading sports facilities around Malta.
Measures relating to Gozo
Continuous works on various projects in Gozo.
The introduction of a Park and Ride system in Mgarr Gozo, not only to reduce the parking problem but also to reduce emissions and thus improve the air quality.
Implementation of master plans in Xlendi and Marsalforn.
New project for an aquatic centre in Gozo.
Geological studies have been carried out with respect to the permanent link between Malta and Gozo which were recently presented during a seminar and which will be the basis for the design of the tunnel.