While the Hon. Clyde Caruana was delivering the budget speech, most parents in Malta were deep in the trenches of the daily bedtime battle. I know we were and, in between glances to the mobile screen and trying to understand what he was saying over loud kids and while dodging bucket loads of water aimed at us from the bath, our budget knowledge remained 0.
To make it easier for parents in Malta, we reviewed the budget speech (which you can also access in full here), for the measures that have a direct impact on us and our kids.
- New Baby Grant
Parents who welcome a new baby (including through adoption) will receive a grant of €400, a €100 increase over previous years.
- Newborn Starter Kit
New parents will receive a starter kit containing sustainable products for newborns. Who else is excited to see its contents?
- Free childcare extension
Parents who work shifts and weekends can now benefit from free childcare services.
- Higher allowance for children with a disability
The allowance will increase by €5, totalling €1,560 per year.
- Social Security Contributions for part-time employees
Employees with more than one part time job can pay social security contributions on more than one job, up to 40 hours a week of employment, for a better pension once they retire.
- Support to vulnerable children
An average of €10,000 will be granted to each school to ensure that no child is left without food or basic necessities.
- Occupational therapy at private institutions
Parents of babies and children up to 5 years old will receive free vouchers to benefit from free occupational therapy at private centers.
- Property measures
If you’re on the hunt for the perfect family home, these measures are worth knowing about:
- There will be no capital gains tax or stamp duty charged on the purchase of properties located in UCAs or built in a Maltese traditional style and which are older than 20 years and have been vacant for seven years or more.
- First time buyers of above described properties will receive a grant of €15,000. Gozitan couples who buy property in Gozo can benefit from a €30,000 grant.
- And, you’ll also be entitled for a VAT refund of up to €54,000 on the first €300,000 spent on renovation works.
- In-work benefits
Employees who work weekends, evenings and nights and whose salary does not exceed €20,000 are entitled to an in-work benefit of €150.
And for parents with children under 23 years of age:
- The threshold for in-work benefits raised to a joint income of €50,000 (from a previous €35,000)
- The threshold for couples with one employed parent raised to €35,000 (from €26,000)
- The threshold for single parents raised to €35,000 (from €23,000)
- Lower income tax for part time employees
Part-timers will now pay 10% in income tax, rather than 15%. Good to be aware of if you or your partner are considering cutting down hours, or adding a part time job.
- Higher tax refunds
The cheque we receive at home (potentially buried in other bills) will now range from €60 to €140.
- Parental Leave
There were no concrete announcements for extended parental leave for partners, apart from a mention of talks starting soon with the MCESD to start preparations. One can always hope.
- Increase in stipends
For parents of older kids – stipends will increase by 10% and students can now work for up to 25 hours per week.
- School refurbishments
The projects in Msida and Victoria will continue, together with refurbishments in Hal Qormi, Mellieha, Hal Ghaxaq and a number of other schools in Gozo.
- Afforestation projects
New woodland in Marsascala, restoration of San Anton Gardens, the family park in Benghajsa, the Marsascala family park, Gnien Kottoner, and San Klement park in Zabbar. The Pace Grasso stadium in Paola will be transformed into a community open space and vast landscaping will be done at Ta Qali National Park.
- Free public transport for all
As of October 2022, all Maltese residents can benefit from free public transport.
This is just an overview of some of the budget measures with a direct impact on our and our kids’ quality of life. Other measures related to the arts, farming, business and enterprise, sport, tourism, pensions, health, and energy (and which of course also affect daily life in some way or other) can be viewed in the budget speech.
What do you think of the 2022 Malta budget?