Tough decisions needed to combat inflation – CBM governor / Malta News Briefing – Thursday 20 April 2023

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Tough decisions needed to combat inflation – CBM governor
Tough decisions may need to be taken to combat the “inflation monster”, according to Prof Edward Scicluna, governor of the Central Bank. Addressing the launch of the Central Bank’s 2022 annual report, Scicluna warned that “inflation is likely to remain too high for too long”. “If interest rates need to rise, we will raise them, even if it comes at the cost of the Central Bank’s finances. Our mandate is to fight inflation, not generate profits,” he said.
NSO data shows that Malta’s inflation rate rose to 7% in February. (Times of Malta)

Elderly man charged with spillage linked to fatal bike accident

A 79-year-old man from Dingli has been charged in connection with a spillage that had caused a fatal motorcycle accident last year. Marie Claire Lombardi, 45, died on 22 October 2022 as a result of injuries she sustained when her Yamaha motorcycle skidded and crashed into a centre strip on Mdina Road in Rabat. Pensioner Joseph Cortis appeared before Magistrate Caroline Farrugia Frendo accused of involuntary homicide, negligently causing damage to private property and depositing items on the road surface. Cortis, who had been transporting the olives at the time of the incident, pleaded not guilty to the charges. (Maltatoday)

Morning Briefing

Government pays €60m for Air Malta retirement schemes

Government has paid in excess of €60m for Air Malta severance packages announced last year, information tabled in parliament shows. The voluntary employee transfer scheme was created in a bid to cut Air Malta’s workforce by half and save €15 million per year in wages as part of a restructuring exercise.
Finance Minister Clyde Caruana said 351 employees applied for the Early Retirement Scheme or Voluntary Redundancy Scheme. In total, €60,836,332 were handed out. (Maltatoday)

Inflation reaches 7.1% in April

Figures from the National Statistics Office NSO show that last March, the inflation rate was 7.1 percent, an increase of 0.1 percent compared to last February. NSO figures show that the biggest increase in the annual inflation rate in March was in the food and non-alcoholic drink price index at 2.3%. It said that this increase was mainly due to higher meat prices. The NSO also reported that the second and third biggest impact on inflation was registered in the restaurant and hotel index. (TVM)

Five arrested after massive tax fraud investigation
Five people have been arrested by the police as part of a €62 million tax fraud investigation. Two persons were arraigned on Wednesday evening after being interrogated throughout the day. Media reports suggest tha the men are involved in a variety of businesses including property, roads and even agriculture. They were arrested by the police Financial Crime Investigations Department.

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