Middles-Class loses out, lower earners make small gains, pensioners the biggest receivers
The Malta Independent newsroom worked out an exercise by computing the monetary benefits announced in the Budget for 2017 against the increase in expenses for three different sectors in society: low income earners, middle-class earners and pensioners. Thi
Pensioners are the biggest receivers in next year’s budget as announced by the Minister of Finance Edward Scicluna early last week. From an independent exercise computed by this newsroom it turns out that pensioners will receive an average of €418 in benefits thanks to the new measures announced for 2017. This may be a little lower or higher according to the type of pension of each individual. On the other hand, new expenses announced in the budget will affect pensioners averagely at approximately €60 in one year. Other increases in daily needs over the course of the year couldn’t be taken into consideration.
The budget for 2017 has been branded as one with a social conscience by several NGOs and government itself. In fact, low income earners will benefit from an average increase of €480 in 2017. However, the introduction of excise duties on an array of products will affect low income earners by at least €120 in 2017. With a net increase of €208 in disposable cash in hand one asks whether such will elevate families struggling to cope out of their misery.
On the other hand, the sector of society which can be described as middleclass is the loser in this budget exercise. When considering that benefits from the Cost Of Living Adjustment (COLA) and a higher in-work benefit awarded by Government, the middle class will gain (give and take) €352 in one year. On the other hand, conservative workings on higher expenses which could affect the middle class shows that the benefits announced will be completely wiped out for this section in society leaving it in the red with an average of €19. These workings do not take into consideration higher prices of products and services consumed mainly by this sector as an indirect effect to the increase in excise duty on construction and personal care products.