Minister Scicluna addresses the Institute of Financial Services during its annual dinner
When addressing the Institute of Financial Services’ annual dinner, Minister for Finance Edward Scicluna recounted how the financial crisis of 2008 and the slow economic growth resulted in the country’s deficit running at 3.5% and the national debt hovering close to 70% by 2012.
“The turnaround we have achieved since then has a lot to do with us changing tack in our fiscal management. We could not just depend on our bankers to be prudent in their management of their clients’ money but we had to become equally prudent in the management of taxpayers’ money. The changes we effected were key to the turnaround in fiscal management, which meant that from a country with an excessive deficit procedure we are now the country with the second highest surplus. In turn, the elimination of our fiscal deficit was crucial for the turnaround in our balance of payments, which today feature one of the highest surpluses in the EU, as against the large deficits that characterised most of our economic history,” Minister Scicluna stated.
Minister Scicluna noted how the rating agencies, the Commission and the International Monetary Fund, have repeatedly emphasised the change in fiscal governance enacted by this administration. He highlighted the fact that while recognising Malta’s several key strengths, these experts have helped us by highlighting areas where they believe Malta’s fiscal transparency practices could be further improved.
“I am convinced that, like other assessments, the IMF’s Financial Stability Assessment Programme and MoneyVal’s evaluation will demonstrate the integrity of our institutions and the seriousness with which they fulfil their onerous duties,” added Minister Scicluna.
Minister Scicluna concluded his speech by stating that “2018 has been another year of astounding success for our Maltese economy, with a growth rate about three times that in the EU, with our country yet again generating the largest growth in jobs and with further drops in the proportion of those at risk-of-poverty or social exclusion. A lot of this success is due to the diligence of our financial services providers and the prudent way they manage to allocate savings to activities that generate a profitable return. The three anniversaries we have celebrated this year – the establishment of the Central Bank, the first decade using the euro and 10 years since the financial crisis – all bear testament to the resourcefulness of Malta’s banking community”.