Budget 2017 presented to the House by Finance Minister Edward Scicluna

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Budget 2017 presented to the House by Finance Minister Edward SciclunaThis evening, Finance Minister Prof. Edward Scicluna, presented the Budget 2017 in the House of Representatives.

Below are some of the main highlights that have been announced in the Budget, including those for Gozo:

To improve connectivity, a call for submission of proposals to be issued for fast ferry service to operate between the two islands,

As regards a permanent link, geological studies will start and a possible public call for tenders is to be issued for the design, build and operation of a Malta – Gozo tunnel

€3.2 million is to be allocated for a fibre optic cable link to Gozo.

Through an investment of €6 million there there will be a home for the elderly in Ghajnsielem.

Embellishment work is to be carried out on village squares in Gozo.

€5 million will be spent on building the Gozo museum.

€16 million is to be invested to increase space at the Xewkija Industrial Estate.

There will be a new swimming pool and modern law courts in a new building.

The Victoria primary school is to be relocated.

Those buying property in Gozo in 2017 will be given fiscal incentives, with tax to be paid down from 5% to 2%.

€3 million project for refurbishment of St Francis Square, the new entrance of connecting stairs and lift from the car park/bus terminus area

COLA increase is €1.75

Cigarettes will go up an average of 3.76% with excise on tobacco up 5.5%.

Excise on alcohol up 2 cents per litre. Excise duty on construction material will be introduced.

There will be a smoking ban in cars where children are passengers as from the 1st of January.

People of the age of 75 will be given a €300 grant.

Stipends for students will be revised pro rata.

A rise for pensioners of €208 per annum, those aged over 61, will pay no income tax on income up to an amount of €13,000.

Couples with children, where only 1 parent is working, and single parents, will see income tax ceiling increased.

Photograph: DOI/Reuben Piscopo

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