Malta u l-politika

Ittri ċċensurati u punti ta' riflessjoni politika.

Il-Kamra tan-Negozju għal Għawdex (GBC) laqgħet b’sodisfazzjon il-Baġit għas-sena li ġejja, fejn fost oħrajn innotat ir-rata mnaqqsa fuq il-boll tat-trasferiment tan-negożju, inċentivi biex in-nies ikomplu jaħdmu wara l-età tal-pensjoni, miżuri għas-sostenibbiltà, u pjan ta’ żvilupp sostenibbli għal Għawdex. Il-GBC laqgħet ukoll b’mod pożittiv il-fatt li r-rata mnaqqsa tat-taxxa tal-boll fl-akwiżizzjoni ta’ proprjetà f’Għawdex hekk kif proposta minnha se tkompli. Bl-istess mod il-Kamra tan-Negozju għal Għawdex tixtieq li ċerti investiment li kienu proposti minnha jkomplu jiġu kkunsidrati. Fost l-oħrajn dawn jikkonsistu minn investiment strateġiku fiċ-Ċentru tal-Università f’Għawdex. Il-GBC laqgħet ukoll b’sodisfazzjon t-tkomplija tal-Gożo Employment scheme, u l-film fund għall-produzzjonijiet ta’ films f’Għawdex; il-ħolqien ta’ awtorità reġjonali għal Għawdex; il-ħtieġa li jiġu mfittxija niċeċ ġodda għal Għawdex; l-Iskema għal Negozji f’Għawdex li se tkun qed tara t-titjib tal-istart ip tax credit għal dawn in-negozji f’Għawdex u kif ukoll inċentivi biex kumpaniji jirrilokaw f’Għawdex; il-ftuħ tar-Research Innovation Hub u tal-Barts Medical School; u t-tkomplija tal-proġett għal żona ddedikata lill-intrapriżi ż-żgħar. Il-Kamra tan-Negozju għal Għawdex innotat ukoll b’mod pożittiv li l-aċċessibbiltà kien punt fokali ta’ dan il-baġit, fejn se jkun hemm l-introduzzjoni tar-raba’ vapur fuq bażi permanenti. Dan apparti li se jitkompla x-xogħol fuq il-fast ferry, it-tieni fibre optic cable, u hemm pjan ċar fuq it-tkomplija tal-proġett tal-mina.

Ott 15, 2019 14:46 Miktub minn iNews


Żminijietna – Leħen ix-Xellug qed tqis il-baġit ippreżentat ilbieraħ mill-Ministru Edward Scicluna bħala baġit soċjali b’nuqqas ta’ inċentivi ċari li jiġġeneraw l-ekonomija l-ħadra. Żminijietna tenniet li “li l-miżuri li ħabbar il-Gvern fil-qasam soċjali huma pożittivi, fosthom iż-żieda fil-pensjonijiet u l-benefiċċji soċjali, transport pubbliku bla ħlas lill-persuni ‘il fuq minn 75, kif ukoll benefiċċji oħra li se jgħinu lill-familji fil-bżonn, persuni b’diżabilità, u persuni b’mard sever”. Sħaqet li l-istess jista’ jingħad fil-qasam finanzjarju, bil-Gvern permezz tal-politika li ħaddan tbiegħed mil-politika neoliberali ta’ awsterità, li ħaddnu diversi pajjiżi fl-Ewropa.

Ott 15, 2019 16:00 Miktub minn iNews


BirdLife Malta laqgħet b’sodisfazzjon numru ta’ miżuri favur l-ambjent li tħabbru lbieraħ fil-Baġit għas-sena d-dieħla. fl-istess waqt esprimiet id-diżappunt tagħha li ma ngħatatx biżżejjed importanza lil inizjattivi relatati direttament mal-bijodiversità u l-ħarsien tan-natura fosthom is-sejħa tagħha u ta’ diversi NGOs oħrajn biex f’Malta jkun hemm taqsima speċjalizzata u armata li tiġġieled reati kriminali marbutin man-natura. BirdLife tenniet li huwa pożittiv li l-Gvern se jkun qed jippubblika l-istudji relatati mal-mina bejn Malta u Għawdex. Hija laqgħet ukoll b’sodisfazzjon l-aħbar li se jiżdiedu l-proġetti ta’ afforestazzjoni f’zoni urbani u qieset dan bħala pass fid-direzzjoni t-tajba. Hija kellha wkoll kliem pożittiv għall-proposta li jissaqqfu l-mini ta’ Santa Venera biex jinbidlu fi spazju miftuħ. Żiedet tgħid li l-akbar qabżiet ambjentali li qed jipproponi l-Baġit 2020 huma dawk marbutin mal-inċentivi biex jintemm l-użu tal-plastik u biex jintlaħqu l-obbligi tal-Unjoni Ewropea (UE) f’dak li għandu x’jaqsam mas-Single-Use Plastics. BirdLife qalet li ta’ min ifaħħar l-inizjattiva biex il-ħwienet jiġu megħjuna finanzjarjament biex joħolqu Green Corners fejn jinbiegħu prodotti skont il-piż u l-klijenti jagħmlu użu mill-kontenituri tagħhom stess. Laqgħet ukoll b’mod pożittiv l-inċentivi mħabbra biex jitnaqqas l-impatt tal-karozzi fuq it-tniġġis tal-arja, it-tnedija ta’ konnessjonijiet ġodda bil-baħar bħala mezzi alternattivi ta’ trasport minn post għal ieħor, l-introduzzjoni ta’ tariffa mnaqqsa biex wieħed jiċċarġja l-karozza elettrika d-dar, u anke l-aħbar li se tkun qed tiġi rakkomandata data meta se tieqaf għal kollox l-importazzjoni tal-vetturi li jniġġsu.

Ott 15, 2019 14:32 Miktub minn iNews


It was another good budget, with no new taxes or tax hikes. The budget announced yesterday by Finance Minister Edward Scicluna was also very positive when it comes to the environment, which is not something we find ourselves saying very often about this government. Undoubtedly, one of the most interesting measures with regard to environmental protection is the ban, as from this January, on the importation and production of single-use plastics which, are one of the leading causes of marine pollution. By January 2021, their sale and distribution will be banned. Coupled with the introduction of the bottle return scheme by the end of this year, this is a very positive measure that should drastically reduce Malta's plastic waste. To further reduce the use of harmful plastics, the government will offer incentives to shops to set up ‘green corners’, where they would sell products by weight and place them in reusable containers brought by the customers themselves. The government also announced yesterday that we will soon have a national strategy on achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. Other measures include a reduced tariff for charging electric cars and the increase in charging points. Another positive step is the €200k grant to building contractors to buy new equipment that is more environmentally friendly and generates less air and noise pollution. One questions, however, whether the government should actually be forking out public funds for such an initiative, when the booming sector should automatically be expected to utilise the most modern and environmentally friendly equipment – at its own cost. While, in our view, the main thrust of this budget was in the environmental sector, this was also another social budget. Besides the €3.49 weekly COLA increase, the government is also giving an additional one-off bonus to offset increases in the prices of staple products, like bread and milk. During a press briefing yesterday, the Prime Minister explained that the latest increases were not picked up in time by the COLA mechanism and, rather than waiting for this to happen next year, the government is helping out through this bonus. There were also positive measures for workers, with another extra day of leave added, and the reduction of tax on part-time work. For the third year in a row, people who earn less than €60,000 a year will receive a tax refund of between €40 and €68. More importantly, the concept of equal pay for equal work will be introduced in the private sector next year. This means that all workers will have the same basic salary, addressing injustices that exist mainly in the manufacturing sector. Pensions are being increased again, and a myriad of measures were announced for people with disabilities and others suffering from rare diseases. In the next phase towards making public transport free for all, bus rides will now be free of charge for people aged 75 and over. Muscat also told journalists yesterday that the government will give concessions for the introduction of ferry services leaving from St Paul’s Bay, Marsascala and Marsaxlokk – all leading to Valletta. This follows the success of the Cottonera ferry service.

Editorjal, The Malta Independent 15.10.2019


Budget 2020 is a consolidation budget which keeps building on the economic principles established over the past recent years. Budget 2020 is also a budget with a heavy environmental spin. Indeed, the proposed actions bring along challenges for MHRA members, amongst others, due to changes which will impact current operations, however we believe it is action in the right direction. From a social perspective budget 2020 is a budget which aims to further spread the wealth being generated by the economy and therefore is a significant contribution to the people in need in our society. MHRA commends Government’s concrete initiatives to further refine and embellish the tourism product and further spread amongst the many the benefits generated from this important economic sector.

independent.com.mt Tuesday, 15 October 2019, 08:37


The national budget presented for 2020 is a reflection of a strong macro-economic stability, resulting from a budget surplus over the past few years, falling public debt which is expected to reach 40% of GDP in 2020, unemployment which stands at 3.5%, relatively low inflation and a robust economic growth. There are various labour market measures that aim to increase labour participation. The preferential tax on overtime will incentivise more employees to work overtime in their own workplace in preference to part time work. The measures to increase the welfare of pensioners are commendable, but preferably might have been supplemented with stronger incentives for active ageing measure to retain pensioners in employment. The Malta Employers’ Association has always expressed itself against the increase in optional leave, as Malta already has among the highest allocation of leave days in the world. The day’s increase in optional leave will erode our competitiveness. The pronounced measure regarding outsourced work needs to be discussed in detail as it can create inequalities within companies.

independent.com.mt Tuesday, 15 October 2019, 08:37


The Malta Developers Association (MDA) said it is highly satisfied that its proposals for the Budget have been adopted by the government, as was confirmed from the Budget Speech, announced earlier today. MDA is pleased to note that the time limits of tax incentive schemes introduced in previous budgets were extended. These include the first-time and second-time buyer schemes; the incentives for those who buy property in Gozo and in village cores; and the incentives for parents who donate their business to their children. Other measures introduced in this budget in response to requests submitted by MDA include tax incentives for all contractors who invest in new machinery and the increase from €150,000 to €175,000 in the value of property bought by first-time buyers that is exempt from stamp duty. This will continue to help all those who decide to invest in their first home. MDA is also very satisfied to note the reduction on duty from 35% to 15% on contracts when property rights are ceded (cessjoni). MDA is convinced that the implementation by government of these measures ­– requested by it – will be of benefit to all its members. Moreover, the reduction of income tax on overtime is also considered as a very good incentive for the property and construction sector.

independent.com.mt Tuesday, 15 October 2019, 08:37


Union of Professional Educators

As a Union we are pleased to see that yet again our country has recorded a surplus and that our economy has continued moving ahead. We more than welcomed the fact that this budget did not bring with it any direct taxation on educators. On the other hand, we feel that one of the greatest challenges currently facing our country, is that of a shortage of Educators practicing within the educational system. Thus we feel, that it would have been wiser that the government done more to address this issue.

independent.com.mt Tuesday, 15 October 2019, 08:37


The Malta Union of Teachers said the budget was a very dry one when it came to education.

independent.com.mt Tuesday, 15 October 2019, 08:37


FORUM, a grouping of trade unions, said that while the budget included a number of good measures, including a reduction in income tax rate for part-timers, the “limited” budget did not address pending problems faced by its members.

independent.com.mt Tuesday, 15 October 2019, 08:37


The General Workers' Union said it was pleased that the government had adopted its proposals, such as by making a commitment to bring in measures to ensure there was equal pay for the same work. It also welcomed the extra day of vacation leave, lower tax on overtime, and better social benefits including higher pensions. It also welcomed environment-friendly measures and said the Budget was continuing to distribute the national wealth among the people.

independent.com.mt Tuesday, 15 October 2019, 08:37


This budget was afraid to tackle the transport problem and the threat of foreign workers, as well as the problems the working people will find when they become pensioners, the UHM- Voice of the Workers said. Welcoming the one-off bonus to make up for the increase in the price of milk and bread and other measures related to the purchase of property by first-time buyers, the union said it expected more on social housing. The union greeted the initiative to help operators of the construction industry to replace old machinery, but it expected a fund to compensate victims of accidents on construction sites.

independent.com.mt Tuesday, 15 October 2019, 08:37


Budget 2020 focussed on supporting the vulnerable, pushing towards affordable housing and highlighting environmental measures. In that regard, the budget has a social soul, JP Fabri, Director of Regulatory & Advisory with ARQ says. It was also a budget that sought to moderate growth and was noticeable for its lack of measures to try to increase new economic sectors.

timesofmalta.com 14.10.2019


Carmel Cacopardo, leader of Alternattiva Demokratika welcomed improvement of social services but noted that the government had not embarked on a revision of the mechanism used to calculate the minimum wage.

timesofmalta.com 14.10.2019


The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry said it was pleased to see that no surprise measures of new taxes were included in the Budget for 2020, saying this was an advantage for business momentum. It was similarly pleased to see initiatives for alternative transport were rolled over and said that cutting tax rates on overtime was a good example of how the government could incentivise work and help reduce labour shortage problems. There were a few words of caution, however. The Chamber said that it wanted to see more measures to strengthen the construction industry and that the Budget had done too little to bolster Malta's competitiveness.

timesofmalta.com 14.10.2019


The GRTU, which represents retailers and small and medium-sized enterprises, saw plenty of positives in Budget 2020, from cutting VAT on certain education courses to increasing pensioners' purchasing power. The government had also taken up the GRTU's proposals to ensure adequate connectivity between Malta and Gozo, it said. It said the government's future step should be to enact another GRTU proposal - that of capping tax rates for SMEs to a maximum of 20 per cent.

timesofmalta.com 14.10.2019


The 2020 budget is characterised by a multitude of tactical measures aimed at addressing thorny social issues that have accumulated in the last few years and a commitment to an economic strategy that promotes growth at all cost. The performance of the economy in the last year was strong, with growth at historically high levels, unemployment steadily falling, national debt well within the parameters set in the Stability and Growth Pact of the EU and another healthy budgetary surplus. The Finance Minister was, therefore, in the enviable position of being able to announce a long list of measures to help pensioners, those of low income and others struggling to get on the first step of the property ladder. It was good to see initiatives to help the more vulnerable. Edward Scicluna, in his long budget speech, tried to address the less favourable impact of this significant economic growth on the quality of life of people by announcing measures that partly address some of the worse aspects of a deteriorating environment. The need to promote the use of green energy were acknowledged and partly addressed through measures that encourage people to invest in cleaner energy by buying electric cars.

Editorjal, The Times 15.10.2019