Balanced budget needed to maintain stability – CMTU
The Confederation of Malta Trade Unions – CMTU called for a balanced budget to maintain stability. The Confederation said that it is quite aware of the challenges Malta is facing and that positive growth can only be achieved if “we are consistently productive and cautious in public spending. We must focus and invest in the true mechanics of Malta’s economic growth – a strengthened and thriving middle class”.
“Malta needs a focused approach to address three fundamental questions: How do we attract more jobs to our islands? How do we equip our people with the skills needed to do the jobs geared for the 21st Century? How do we make sure hard work pays off to earn a decent living?”
While the CMTU will continue to insist on an all-round effort to improve the nation’s performance, the Confederation will always look to better tripartite dialogue with the aim of ensuring good governance of the following set of principles:
- More and better jobs: investing in Education – to maintain the drive for growth and jobs. The Confederation of Malta trade Unions - CMTU is proposing that Government should maintain its efforts to create more jobs whilst promoting innovation, research and development. Maintaining high standards in Education by investing further in assisting employment in key industries. Investing in new, green and sustainable technologies to assist reforming vital public services should continue to top government’s agenda.
- Also, the importance of fighting the scourge of youth unemployment should not only be seen from the economic dimension. One must remember the social ills when youth unemployment raises its head – drugs, depression, social exclusion etc. Government should fund schemes to keep youths engaged on an ongoing basis through training, education and personal development which will help reduce youth unemployment and promote its employability.
- A sustainable renewed welfare system to provide more security, education and training to avoid social exclusion - The Confederation of Malta trade Unions - CMTU will continue to insist and support a meaningful and a strong renewed Social agenda: to maintain people in jobs with robust income and to ensure protection to workers and pensioners as well as an appropriate training program to continuously update the skills and invest in new resource to immediately address where several areas may still be lacking effective organizational and financial support such as the Health and Tourism sectors.
- Jobs+ should also be financially supported further to enable tangible assistance for research on labour market needs. CMTU reiterates that special focus should be made on vulnerable categories of society whether it is the business or the worker and his family. Maintaining high standards of living can be achieved by simply striking the right balance when distributing wealth.
- Fiscal Target - to continue to insist on achieving on average balanced budget across all sectors while giving the necessary stimulus to economic growth, curb public deficit, tax incentivize productivity to maintain high competitiveness guaranteeing added value both to the consumer and to the investor. Prudence will help us acquire stability. Being realistic and supporting a sustainable plan to enhance effective growth and the creation of jobs is what the Social Partners should stand for.
- Taxes – CMTU will support the State on the implementation of an effective tax regime having regard to the Government’s social and economic objectives by way of a practical and disciplined approach to enforcement when collecting taxes and when possible a reduction in the percentage tax rate by action on the following:
- serious direct assault on abuse and tax evasion
- serious direct assault on illegal gaming which is leading to loss in revenue for the Government and leading to USURA.
- gradual decrease in the percentage rate in the tax bands to motivate the workforce.
- Services – investing in Local Councils to provide value for money community services in collaboration with Central Government and business (ex: Child-Care, Neighborhood Watch, Wifi Access.etc) and economic infrastructure within available means.
CMTU proposes that Local Councils are manned with well-trained official/s that can assist and give free expert advice to family households (especially those identified as vulnerable categories of society) on home economics, budgeting, planning and employment.
Help to tackle usury by opening further the land based gaming sector through the liberalization of the non-monopolized sports gaming hitting directly against illegal gaming
These principles require the Government’s fiscal objectives to take into account a range of issues including tax policy and burden, risk and service delivery. Further to previous years’ proposals, the Confederation of Malta Trade Unions – CMTU expects more enforcement by all institutions representing the state whilst working to reduce the levels of bureaucracy in the process.
Building a support network using Local Councils with the intention of assisting households and the business community, with specific focus on vulnerable categories of society is a must. Striking the balance between Business, Welfare and Education is an essential part of good governance which in the end will be beneficial to all stakeholders concerned.