PL propose free childcare
Labour leader Joseph Muscat has proposed free childcare for couples as well as single parents with children under three years old.
The Labour leader said during a press conference this morning, that the PL will “provide the opportunity for free childcare for couples and single parents with children under three years of age. This will help more women enter the workforce and will be done in conjunction with the private sector through a public-private partnership. This will cost €3.1 million in the first year".
He added that after five years this scheme will reap a benefit for Malta's economy, stating that this will allow over 2,000 women to enter the workforce. He also said that this would be profitable for the private sector and will create 500 more jobs for childcare workers. Dr Muscat elaborated that this would create space for 3,000 children over a five year period, also pledging that this will not be 'means tested', meaning that these centres will be available for everyone not just for people below a certain income bracket.
He said that people who do not want to use this new scheme will still benefit from other schemes currently in place adding that the system relating to social benefit will still remain in place.
“We want the development of these new centres to be handled by the private sector and will focus on the need for childcare facilities in areas of work such as near hospitals and industrial estates”. Existing centres will have the opportunity to become part of this scheme, he added.
When asked by di-ve.com regarding who will pay for the wages of the 500 childcare workers, Dr Muscat argued that these will be paid for by the government.
He concluded that this scheme will start in 2014 and that he will reveal more schemes related to helping women enter the workforce throughout the campaign.
Dr Muscat spoke of the country’s credit downgrade. “The Standard and Poor’s downgrade of our credit rating has not surprised me, we need a change. The PL has released plans and initiatives which will help the Maltese economy and address the debt problem".
“We have a clear plan regarding Enemalta,“ he announced. “If Enemalta falls, so does our country”. He added that S&P also mentioned the debt in the private sector and “our plans related to rent should help ease the private sectors’ taxes”.
The PL leader spoke on the importance of the tourism, industrial and health, explaining that these are all important to the PL and the country.