On 30th of October 2023, Hon. Clyde Caruana, the Minister for Finance and Employment presented The Malta Budget 2024. The key highlights of The Malta Budget are as follows:

Economic Highlights

  • Annual inflation rate for 2023 is 5.7% but projected to decrease to 3.7% in 2024;
  • Unemployment rate projected to remain 2.7% in 2024;
  • COLA (Cost of Living Increase) is set to increase to €12.81 per week (€9.90 last year) for all employees, pensioners and people receiving social benefits;
  • GDP (Gross Domestic Product) deficit of 4.5% predicted for 2024. This is a decrease from the 5% deficit predicted to be registered for 2023;
  • Debt-to-GDP ratio is predicted to be 52.8% for 2023 with an increase to 55.3% in 2024;

Social Measures

  • The National minimum wage is set to increase to €213.54 per week inclusive of COLA. This is an increase of €20.81;
  • Pensions are set to increase by €15 per week (€780 per year) inclusive of COLA. This is an increase of €2.19 beyond COLA;
  • An increase of 6.5% in pension for individuals who delay their retirement by one year. If retirement is delayed by four years, there will be an increase of 29%;
  • Children’s Allowance set to be increased by €250 per eligible child per year;
  • Social Housing Benefit set to increase by €4,200 for single individuals and by €6,000 for families with at least two children;
  • Parents set to receive a bonus of €500 for each newborn child and €1,000 for their second child (previously €400);
  • For those parents whose children continue full time education, a special allowance amounting to €500 per year over a three year period is given;
  • In-work benefit set to increase by €50 for every child under 23 years of age;
  • An extension in the In-Work benefit of €150 which is given to those individuals working atypical hours and whose pay does not exceed €20,000;
  • An increase of €1,000 in the Carer at Home Allowance;

Business Measures

  • Venture Capital Fund set to be established with the aim of aiding start-ups (mainly those who will be investing in technology and those with limited access to funds);
  • Extension to the Seed Investment Scheme, the Startup Finance Scheme, the Skills Development Scheme and the Business Enhance Scheme;
  • Reduction of Stamp Duty rate from 5% to 1.5% applicable on an inter vivos transfer of a family business to descendants;
  • Regulation of outsourcing and temping agencies;
  • Regulation of single work permits and new foreign works permits along with a new fee structure set to be applied;
  • Finance Framework set to be developed for aircraft leasing;
  • Less strict requirements for owners of small businesses to file audited accounts for tax purposes;
  • Increased capping of tax credits for investments made into a Family business registered with the Family Business office;
  • The MFSA set to implement regulatory changes related to Limited Partnerships, the setting up of new Family Offices in Malta and Notified Professional Investment Funds;
  • Up to €500 in tax credit available to businesses that donate to voluntary organisations registered with the Commissioner for Voluntary Organisations that support social, environmental or animal welfare causes;

Property Measures

  • First time buyers grant extended to €10,000 across a 10 year period;
  • First time buyers will be entitled to a one-time grant of €15,000 for a property situated in Malta and €40,000 for a property situated in Gozo;
  • Extension to reduced Stamp Duty rate for first and second time buyers. However, there will be no extension to the reduction of the 2% reduced stamp duty rate applicable to transfers of immovable property situated in Gozo;
  • Extension to Capital Gains and Stamp Duty exemptions for restoration of vacant properties;
  • Re-launching of schemes for facade restoration works for certain properties;

Tax Measures

  • Income tax exemption on Pension Income set to increase from 40% to 60%;
  • Coming into effect on 1st January 2024, Income tax exemption on Pension Income for any widow/er below the age of 61 who receives a pension;
  • Extension to tax refund scheme in which workers are set to receive payments between €60 and €140 depending on their income;
  • Tax credit for parents of children with disabilities who attend private therapy set to increase by €300 for a total of €500 (previously €200);
  • Reduced tax rate of 7.5% for income derived by athletes, licensed coaches and other individuals engaged in sports activities set to be extended;
  • Extension to Schemes relating to scrapple of older vehicles, grants for the conversion of petrol vehicles to LPG and grant schemes for the purchase of new electric vehicles, motorcycles and e-bikes;
  • Extension to Registration Tax exemption for plug-in hybrid vehicles and exemption from annual road license fees for both electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles for a five year period from date of registration;
  • Government set to continue to subsidise energy, fuel and grain prices;
  • Regulatory framework of gaming industry set to be strengthened along with the implementation of the esports strategy;
  • No plans to introduce any top up tax measures under the global minimum tax framework during 2024;

Sustainable Energy

  • The number of Electric Vehicle charging systems are set to increase to 1,200 from the current 372 charging stations;
  • The extension of schemes relating to the purchasing of solar panels, solar water heaters, heat pumps and other similar devices;
  • Incentives set to be given for purchase of personal e-scooters;
  • In relation to Project Green, approximately 80,000 sqm of land will be transformed into urban green spaces and over 5,000 are set to be planted;
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