Statement by the Ministry for Social Justice and Solidarity, the Family and Children’s Rights and by the Ministry for Justice, Equality and Governance: Social benefits will no longer be subject to garnishee orders

Reference Number: PR210307en, Press Release Issue Date: Feb 12, 2021
 
A process is currently underway to amend legislation; in that, no social benefits and social housing benefits will be subject to a garnishee order that a person may have issued on his assets. The Government felt that it should make this legislative amendment in order to protect the interests of vulnerable people facing garnishee orders by the banks.
 
At a joint news conference on Friday morning between the Minister for Social Justice and Solidarity, the Family and Children’s Rights, Michael Falzon and the Minister for Justice, Equality and Governance, Edward Zammit Lewis, it was explained that this legislative amendment will bring social justice to those affected.
 
Minister Michael Falzon stated that in the past there was a limit of around €700, however as from now onwards all benefits will be protected.
 
Minister Michael Falzon stated that this is a positive measure that will help hundreds of people who are facing financial and social pressures. He also stated that administrative procedures will be sped up, thus reducing bureaucracy.
 
Minister Falzon stressed that this legislative amendment is also being made with the cooperation that the Government has found on the part of the Malta Bankers Association.
 
The Minister for Justice, Equality and Governance Edward Zammit Lewis emphasised the fact that this legislative amendment is intended to ensure that the citizen has the right to live a decent life, in particular those persons coming from a challegining social background.
 
This legislative amendment is important because it will ensure that social benefits are exempted from the effects of any garnishee order, without the need for a person to go through court proceedings, at his own expense, in order to be able to have access to these social benefits.
 
Through this decision the Government continues to show that it is a Government with a social soul and that it tries to understand what a person may be going through. This is a Government of the people, and for the people.

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