Children’s allowance up by €90

€10,000 grant over ten years for first-time buyers who acquire a property with a value which does not exceed €500,000

Children’s allowance will increase by €90 for every child in 2023, the finance minister announced on Monday.

Clyde Caruana said government will look to gradually increase the children’s allowance by €450 until the end of the legislature.

The measure will affect 41,100 families with around 62,000 children, and will cost €5.6 million.

Foster Care allowance will no longer be stopped immediately when parents adopt, but will be reduced gradually over four years, or until the adopted child is 21-years-old.

Therefore 80% of the foster allowance will be given in the first year, 60% in the second, 40 % in the third and 20% in the fourth.

The parents of disabled adults, who are not employed in order to care for them, will increase from €500 to €4,500 in each year, as promised in Labour’s electoral manifesto. The funds will be paid every three months.

Government will also be giving a tax credit of €200 to parents of disabled children who take their kids to therapy.

Caruana also said that government has allocated €1.6 million to the St Vincent De Paul Residence for the purchase of a new CT scanner. The ongoing restoration of the St Joseph Hall, which will cost €0.5 million will also continue. A new garden for persons with dementia which will cost €1 million will also be built.

Widows’ Pension

Workers who receive a widows’ pension will start receiving additional benefits for unemployment, sickness or injury.

As of next year, workers who between the ages of 18 and 30 were certified as using psychiatric care will be given a two-year credit in social-security contribution.

Caruana said government recognises that people with mental health issue face problems with their pensions, given they find difficulties with submitting social security contributions when recovering from their issues.

First-time buyers

Government will be giving a grant of €10,000 over ten years to every first-time buyer who acquire a property with a value which does not exceed €500,000.

The measure will apply to every purchase carried out from 1 January 2022, and will not be subject to a means test. The measure will be carried out with all commercial banks which operate in Malta and Gozo, which offer loans for residential properties.

The Deposit Payment Scheme will also include properties with a maximum value of €225,000.

The capping of the Housing Benefit Scheme will increase to €500 a month for a one-bedroom residence, €600 a month for a two-bedroom residence, €700 a month for a three-bedroom residence “to better reflect today’s realities.”

Addressing past injustices

Caruana said government wants to continue addressing past grievances, and that is why government has allocated €8 million in order to repay former members of the Police Corps who had entered public service after their retirement, apprentices and student workers.

Former Gas Board workers, former apprentices at the MEB and former Telemalta workers will also be considered by government.

€2 million will also be allocated to address other anomalies as promised in the Labour manifesto during the 2022 General Election.