Budget 2021 – What’s in it for you?

With another budget now behind us, we look at the measures which will affect the people most – breaking down Finance Minister Edward Scicluna’s two-hour speech into bite-size chunks.

It was the ninth budget of the Labour government, and it may well be Scicluna’s last, with newly-sworn in MP Clyde Caruana being touted as his replacement.

The budget was split across six main sectors: social measures, the economy, the environment, law and order, education and health, and infrastructure.

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The main measures on a person-basis announced are:

– 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

budget 2021 whats in it for you - Budget 2021 - What's in it for you?

– 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.

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– 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

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– 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

For a more detailed look at the measures announced, check out our live commentary from the Budget itself here, or hop onto www.independent.com.mt and find our summaries of each section of measures.

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