This Budget focuses measures on lower income earners and pensioners, which is in line with our pre-budget theme of “Creating Shared Value”. Indeed, MHRA is pleased with various positive measures which have been announced in the Budget Speech which directly support the tourism sector such as: investment to further support the sustainable growth of the cruise-line business; the commencement of works on the new Institute of Tourism Studies; infrastructural investment including projects related to public parks, various embellishment initiatives and improvement in the road network across a number of localities including Gozo.
MHRA welcomes the tax credit schemes for renovations in hotels and restaurants aimed at the continued improvement of the tourism product. However, MHRA was expecting specific votes for the immediate upkeep of core tourism areas, such as Bugibba and Qawra, which are in urgent need of serious investment.
MHRA positively notes that the energy efficiency scheme it proposed for Hotels and Restaurants will be implemented next year.
MHRA is encouraged by the 2016 deficit estimate which is set to be below one per cent and is expected to further improve next year. MHRA is also pleased to note that the national debt as a percentage of the GDP is on the decrease and getting closer to the 60 per cent allowed by Euro zone targets.
MHRA will be reviewing the budget estimates for next year in further detail and accordingly will be presenting a more detailed analysis.