Where the Budget should ACTUALLY be cut - Arnas Lasys

Where the Budget should ACTUALLY be cut - Arnas Lasys

27 Aug 2022
Volt Malta's Co-President Arnas presents 6 suggestions for the state to save millions, instead of sacrificing education
University of Malta

Instead of the University of Malta, there are many other places where taxpayer money is actually being wasted.

The latest news about the University of Malta having its budget cut by 1.1 million euros has caused quite a stir, and rightfully so. Not only because investing in education invests in the country’s future generations, and also its Research & Development efforts, but also because the general public is fully aware of how much public money is regularly wasted.

Here are some suggestions where, the Government can actually cut its budget from unproductive avenues, and even increase the budget for education.

The first suggestion is to cut the advertising of the annual budget. In 2021, €440,000 was spent advertising the budget for 2022. Let the budget speak for itself.

The second suggestion is to the down on the numerous inaugurations, a number of which cost tens of thousands, such as the infamous Marsa Junction.

A third suggestion is to address the public sector, which is both bloated and understaffed. We have both a shortage of doctors, teachers and police whilst also 21% of the working population is in the public sector. There needs to be a full audit of the public sector workforce, to see which departments are overstaffed, idle and inefficient.

A fourth suggestion is similar to the third, which addresses the over-employed and privileged employees in the public sector. A recent example published this week by The Shift News is how a former assistant of the Prime Minister has received 9 jobs over 2 years. There are also other examples. A couple dozen or so such individuals and persons of trust are more than enough to fill the 1.1 million euros gap.

A fifth suggestion is addressing the millions of public money lost to deals such as that concerning Malta’s hospitals with Vitals.

The last suggestion (however there is no doubt there are more examples of misuse of funds), is the misuse of direct orders. Instead of getting competitive prices, the state has lavishly called for direct orders at times numbering in the millions, even though a rule was introduced to limit them to €135,000. An example is, The MFSA spent €250,000 to refurbish its office in 2018 (even though it knew it was going to relocate in a few years), and has recently issued a direct order for an office space for €1.1 million, a minute walking distance away from its currently refurbished office.

Let’s take the belt-tightening seriously and tackle the unnecessary expenses first. Start with scrapping the €1.1 million office space direct from MFSA, have them use their new offices & direct those funds to the €1.1 million being taken away from University, and then take on other suggestions allowing the state to cut costs and also reinvest some of it into more productive sectors which bring higher returns to the state.

  • Arnas Lasys, Co-President of Volt Malta