Muscat on Budget: people should be shown ‘real’ energy bill to appreciate state subsidy

Former PM hails no-pain budget and thinks families and businesses should be shown extent of government cushioning of their energy bills

Former PM Joseph Muscat
Former PM Joseph Muscat

Former Labour Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has suggested people be shown the “real” energy bill so they can appreciate the state subsidy.

“Government should consider sending a letter with every bill so that every family and businesses are given an indication of how much their bill would be had there not been a government intervention,” Muscat said in a Facebook post.

The former PM was reacting to the 2023 Budget delivered by Finance Minister Clyde Caruana on Monday.

“Had there been one sentence which states that government will not be raising energy prices despite the international energy crisis, the Labour government would have done more than all other European governments,” Muscat said.

Muscat hailed the government for continuing on the “tradition” started by Labour administrations of not raising any taxes.

He also said the need for economic growth remains. “Social budgets like the ones in recent years are only possible if the economy continues to grow steadily.”

Muscat also said the Opposition’s criticism that the budget is a “cosmetic” one is simple, and is only effective with individuals who do not recognise “the enormous effort” by government to keep energy bills stable.

READ ALSO | First reactions to Budget 2023: unions and employers with nuanced views