Updated: PN: Standard and Poor to lower Malta's rating
Ratings agency 'Standard and Poor' are to lower Malta’s long term raiting to BBB+, it was announced today by Minister for Finance, the Economy and Investment Tonio Fenech,
He argued that the EU Commission said that Malta reduced our deficit in a credible and sustainable way. “This country has a government which will continue to strengthen our economy".
The Minister confirmed that the ratings agency Standard and Poor will lower Malta’s long term rating, arguing that this is due to the bad decision that Joseph Muscat took, by not allowing the budget to go through.
The story regarding ‘Standard and Poor’ was supposed to be embargoed, however certain media released it this morning, the Minister said.
He argued that a statement from Standard and Poor read; “The dissolution of Malta’s Parliament in 2013 will stop a budget from being adopted till after March 9, which raises questions of it holding the credibility and the needed flexibility to address the financial situation in Malta”.
He explained that Labours energy proposal will worsen this situation and that the PL must answer for this downgrading of our rating.
The ratings agency held the short term rating for our country, which is A-2, however chose to downgrade the long term rating, the Minister said, “as they realised that we are doing a good job. They also realised however that they are worried about the future of Malta’s state owned companies”.
“This is due to the budget being dismissed and the loss of international confidence due to the new Labour gas plan. This has resulted in the Labour Party destroying hat we have worked for, without even being in power”. He said that they couldn’t understand how Malta can reduce energy tariffs by 25%.
“The PL have not released any reports on how they are going to reduce the energy tariffs and if I was part of ‘Standard and Poor’, then I would also be worried”, he added.
The government had long known the budget wouldn’t pass. The Minister emphasized that the PN had publically given options to the PL detailing how the budget can pass whilst not allowing MP’s to take the bonus. “But they didn’t take notice”.
He concluded that through PN, Malta's economy would remain strong, "but Labour are playing at politics and their proposal is extremely risky and not do-able”.
.Minister for Tourism, Culture and the Environment Mario De Marco described the importance of having solid finances..
“A strong economy will help us reduce taxes”, he argued, mentioning that Malta has the highest employment rate in its history, with 150,000 people registered as full time workers. “Under Alfred Sant’s 22 month reign, we lost 4000 jobs, he argued. In this legislature, the PN have introduced 25 new measures to reduce taxes, whilst other countries had to increase taxes, Minister De Marco added.
“We kept increasing the number of students through our strong education system and today we have 19,000 students benefitting from the stipend,” he said. “To keep investing in education, in jobs and in our country, we must have a solid economy. We have a good track record and we will try to build on this over the next five years”.