Budget Day 2022 – Inflation up to 2.25%: Malta News Briefing – Monday 11 October 2021

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Latest update: News Portal briefing

Times of Malta says possible discrepancies in testimony given by former FIAU manager Jonathan Ferris at the Egrant inquiry sparked criminal investigations against him for perjury, a court heard on Monday.

TVM says addressing the jurors at the trial of the verdict against Cmelik, Dr. Simon Micallef Stafrace said that his client is being charged with wilful homicide, carrying a knife and resisting arrest.

Newsbook says a 21-year-old Eritrean man was seriously injured in a factory in Ħal Far on Monday afternoon.

MaltaToday says Beppe Fenech Adami says Abela administration must answer for its willingness to defend former minister Konrad Mizzi who refuses to testify before PAC

Mid-Day Briefing

Enemalta restricts use of interconnector as energy prices soar: Use of the Sicily-Malta interconnector has been restricted during peak hours, reports have shown, as energy prices in Europe have increased significantly. The Energy Ministry said that wholesale prices in Italy, from which Malta imports over the interconnector, have reached record levels, but said that said prices on the European grid are expected to stabilise in the second quarter of next year.The Times of Malta revealed that during the period the interconnector use was reduced, one of Enemalta’s older power plants, known as Delimara 2, which runs on gasoil, was fired up. Government had recently indicated its intention to go for a second Sicily-Malta interconnector.

Exports decline in first eight months of the year: Despite stronger economic activity in 2021, exports have registered a slight drop in the first eight months of the year compared to the corresponding period last year, a matter of concern for the manufacturing industry in particular. On the other hand, imports increased significantly, NSO data released today shows. During the first eight months of the year, the total trade in goods deficit widened by €263.3 million when compared to the corresponding period of 2020, reaching €2,013.7 million. Imports increased by €219.6 million while exports decreased by €43.6 million, amounting to €4,090.7 million and €2,077.1 million, respectively.

Covid-19 update: 22 patients recovered from coronavirus in the past 24 hours, double the amount of new cases. Thus active cases declined to 270 over the weekend. Seven persons remain in hospital, with one patient being treated in the intensive therapy unit.

Update 1110

In September 2021, the annual rate of inflation as measured by the RPI was 2.25 per cent, up from the 2.08 per cent
in August 2021, the NSO said. The 12-month moving average rate for September stood at 0.96 per cent. Once again, the largest upward impact on annual inflation was measured in the Food Index. Energy prices, on the other hand, remained unchanged.

Updated 0940: Budget to compensate most needy for cost of living increases: With inflation, particularly that concerning essential items such as food, increasing throughout summer and early autumn, Finance Minister Clyde Caruana is expected to announce a separate mechanism to compensate society’s most needy for the rising cost of living. The Times of Malta quotes sources saying that the new mechanism will be separate and over-and-above the traditional COLA adjustment.

Morning Briefing

Budget Day today

Government will be presenting its last budget of this legislature this evening, with Finance Minister Clyde Caruana taking the honours for the first time following former Minister Edward Scicluna’s move to the Central Bank.

Expectations of a ‘positive’ budget run high, with an election looming on the horizon, but the increasing deficit and debt levels may limit the administration’s room for manouvre. Speaking on radio on Sunday, PM Robert Abela said people should be expecting “a realistic budget from a united government.” He said that the government held meetings with various social partners and organisations from different sectors, and even held public consultation sessions in squares around the country. “It is one of the budgets that saw the most consultation,” he explained.

Bernard Grech upbeat despite latest polls

PN leader Bernard Grech said that a silent majority is supporting the need for change. Reacting to a Maltatoday survey which showed that the PN support has actually gone down last month, Grech argued that there are 80,000 people who are not speaking out in these surveys. “They are not regularly quizzed, but they will have their say on election day,” Grech insisted.The PN leader also questioned what is keeping the Police Commissioner from investigating former Energy Minister Konrad Mizzi following revelations that he shared confidential government information with business magnate Yorgen Fenech. “What are you waiting for to investigate Konrad Mizzi and bring him to court? What are you waiting for now that it is clear he broke the law? Who is pulling the strings?” he asked. A report published by the Times of Malta revealed that Mizzi, a former PL Deputy Leader leaked confidential information on government projects to Yorgen Fenech.

Covid-19 Update

There were 24 new Covid-19 cases and six recoveries reported by the health authorities on Sunday. This brings the number of active cases to 281. From these seven are hospitalised, one of which is in ITU.
CDE News

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