AD – Proposals for social justice and sustainability
Malta’s fiscal policy should include social justice and sustainability, stated AD during a press conference in Valletta this morning. This will allow for the financing of public expenditure, create more jobs and provide equal opportunities.
“AD will act as the voice of socially just and sustainable fiscal policy” said AD Chairperson Michael Briguglio.
AD stated that PN and PL are both being irresponsible in their promises and they are not mentioning any revenue measures, when both are agreeing to regressive and unsustainable cuts in income tax for high income brackets.
AD believes in a progressive income tax system, one that takes into consideration those who can contribute more. Both government expenditure and revenue have to be taken into account said AD Chairperson.
As regards to VAT, AD believes that while it has its advantages it can be regressive, in that low income earners who spend almost all their income on consumption have to pay more VAT. For this reason AD supports schemes that keep VAT rates low on products and services that account for a high proportion of expenditure for low-income earners.
The minimum wage in Malta should be increased and extended to part time and contractual workers, AD declared. This will encourage more people to enter the formal labour market and increase productivity.
AD suggested that the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) and compensations should be carried out every 6 months and that a realistic assessment be carried out in order for the yearly compensation to truly affect the rise in inflation.
“Taxes on banks and financial companies making windfall profits should increase, to curb financial speculation” said Mr Briguglio whilst also asserting that incentives should be provided for co-operatives, small businesses and certified fair trade businesses.
In order to create Green Jobs, measures such as tax breaks, venture capital initiatives and soft loans should be emphasized whilst more authority should be given to Local councils to create these opportunities.
AD Secretary General Ralph Cassar said, that the eco-tax should focus on environmentally-harmful practices that generate excessive waste and pollution and that AD feels that property speculation should be taxed from third vacant property onwards since Malta is a perpetual building site and a quarter of the properties are vacant, thus encouraging renting and selling of properties which are kept vacant for speculation purposes and the use of existing buildings rather than building more properties.
When addressing the issue of utility bills, AD claimed that wasteful practices should be penalised and basic use subsidized.