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

Malta Independent - - BUDGET 2017 -

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.

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