“Record Budget increase for Gozo this year” – Minister Caruana
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During a news conference, held at Mgarr Harbour, the Minister for Gozo Justyne Caruana discussed the Budget 2019 measures, which she said will be implemented over the coming year “making a positive impact on Gozo and Gozitans.”
She said the the Ministry would see “massive growth and a record of almost 30% in the budget allocated to it, an increase of 10%.”
The Ministry for Gozo will have a further €13 million which will be utilised in projects and initiatives in Gozo, Dr Caruana said.
“The budget is clear evidence of the commitment and success in that the government is creating wealth for our people and our country,” said the Minister.
“This budget includes strong and direct measures for Gozo and Gozitans, that is itself a clear statement of the government’s commitment to the development of Gozo and the Gozitan aspirations,” said Minister Caruana.
Caruana mentioned several measures mentioned in the budget and will directly affect the Gozitan workers, patients and their relatives and employers.
Patients who have to travel from Gozo to Malta for treatment can now claim travel reimbursement for adults who accompany them to Malta; Additional allowance for accommodation of patients going for treatment Malta; Government workers who travel to Malta and use organised collective transport, will benefit from €1.50 a day; The Gozitan Workers Subsidy Scheme will be extended even to those employed in the private sector in Malta; A hostel for students and for relatives of sick patients in hospital in Malta, are mentioned in the budget as a capital project, the Minister said.
Dr Caruana also listed measures that she said “are aimed at creating more employment in Gozo, attracting investment and enhancing economic and tourism growth.”
“The continuation of the scheme for private companies in Gozo, who will benefit from a refund of 30% of the employees salary, up to a maximum of €6,000, to employers offering those workers a 3-year contract; Stamp duty for the second consecutive year remaining at the rate of 2%.”
“Thematic festivals and cultural activities during this year have created wealth for the island. Gozo has never seen so many people visiting, and up until September 4.4 million had crossed between the islands,” the Minister said. There will also be more done to promote the film industry in Gozo.
Dr Caruana spoke of the capital projects, some of which she said have started and others which are in their planning phase:
The regeneration of Mgarr Harbour, The Gozo Aquatic Centre; The Gozo Museum; The Health Centre in Victoria; A Park and ride.
She said that roads will be given due importance and as soon as funds are allocated, which have increased from 1.8 million to 4 million, work will be carried out, together the embellishment of the three squares and the Xlendi and Marsalforn masterplans
The Minister for Gozo concluded by expressing her satisfaction with the “demonstration of confidence in the Ministry for Gozo in this record budget for Gozo.”