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AD's official reaction to Budget 2005

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  • Mark Causon
    ... dire ... but ... of ... blocking ... government s ... has ... those ... a ... rates ... energy ... the ... through ... level, ... gradually ... Edward ...
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 2, 2004
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      > Press Release
      > AD's official reaction to Budget 2005
      > "Past Mistakes are blocking economic recovery"-Dr. Vassallo
      >
      > Alternattiva Demokratika presented its official reaction to the budget
      > during a press conference in Sliema. The press conference was addressed by
      > AD Chairperson Dr. Harry Vassallo and AD's spokesperson for finances, the
      > economy and tourism Edward Fenech.
      >
      > Dr. Vassallo called on the government to assume responsability for the
      dire
      > state of the country's finances and the low rate of economic growth.
      >
      > "We recognize the fact that reducing the deficit is a national priority
      but
      > we also expect a greater sense of political accountability for the state
      of
      > the economy by the Nationalist government. The sins of the past are
      blocking
      > the country's economic recovery. This same lack of accountability has
      > outlived the previous Nationalist administrations as demonstrated by the
      > present Prime Minister's decisions on Dar Malta and the present
      government's
      > proposal to build a new parliament. Our economy, in real terms has not
      > grown from 2000-2004, and the major reason for this is that the country
      has
      > had to deal with a structural deficit crisis. As a result Malta has one of
      > the lowest growth rates among the ten new EU member states".
      >
      > Dr. Vassallo also noted that the budget lacked a holistic social and
      > environmental vision which could serve as the basis for the sustainable
      > development of Malta and Gozo.
      >
      > "While a few meusures were introduced to promote the use of energy saving
      > devices, the use public transport was severely penalised by an increase of
      > 33%. The revision of water and electricity bills did not make a clear
      > distinction between those who consume these resources responsibly and
      those
      > who over consume. For the past years AD has also proposed the launching of
      a
      > national energy auditing service which would offer advice to individual
      > households and businesses on reducing their water and electricity bills
      > through responsible consumption. A system of differential percentage
      rates
      > would have been preferable to the imposition of a flat percentage of 17%.
      > The government also failed in using the eco tax to influence consumer
      > choice. While the eco tax was extended to plastic containers no incentive
      > was given to the least environmentally harmful option in each range of
      > products. The eco tax could also be an instrument promoting the most
      energy
      > saving option in every range of products. The budget fails in addressing
      the
      > devastating social, environmental and economic impact of soaring prices.
      > This can be achieved through the liberalisation of our rent laws and
      through
      > fiscal meusures discouraging speculation".
      >
      > AD reiterated the importance of lowering the deficit to a sustainable
      level,
      > so that out Debt/GDP ratio does not increase in the short term and
      gradually
      > decreases over the medium term.
      >
      > The Green Party's spokesperson for finances, the economy and tourism
      Edward
      > Fenech said:
      >
      > "We are disappointed that government revenues are projected to increase by
      > more than the forecast rate of growth in the economy of 2.5%. For the past
      > year AD has emphasised the importance of not allowing taxes to grow more
      > than the growth rate of the economy so that government would not stifle
      the
      > economy. Government has not made it clear whether this increase in taxes
      > will come about solely through the collection of arrears and by clamping
      > down on evasion as AD itself had recommended in its pre budget proposals.
      AD
      > is disappointed that the budget lacked a concrete plan of action of
      address
      > tax evasion".
      >
      > On a positive note AD expressed its agreement with various commitments to
      > control abuses.
      >
      > "We welcome the government's decision to increase the price of kerosene in
      > order to curb the abuse of those mixing kerosene and deisel. We also
      welcome
      > the fact that all unemployed persons will have to attend training courses.
      > We augur that these courses will not be simply a formality introduced to
      > curb the black economy but would also empower genuinely unemployed
      people
      > with new skills. We are disappointed that the government failed to tackle
      > summer half days in the public sector. AD has proposed that important
      public
      > services should be provided by a skeleton staff during the summer period
      > without resorting to overtime", said Edward Fenech.
      >
      > AD welcomed the publication of a white paper on pension reform. AD
      > has set up its own task force to give a more detailed reaction to this
      > report. Edward Fenech presented AD's initial reaction to this report:
      >
      > "As a point of principle the government must always remain the ultimate
      > guarantor of a minimum pension that affords a decent standard of living -
      As
      > a recognition of this central aspect of the Maltese welfare state this
      > measure should be enshrined in the country's constitution. The reform must
      > not treat various categories of work in the same manner. Certain
      categories
      > of work involving physical and mental strain could have a lower retirement
      > age. The average working time of each category should also be taken in
      > consideration in a way those who have the least amount of free time during
      > their working life should be able to retire earlier than those who benefit
      > from a shorter working week or from more holidays . The reform must
      include
      > measures to tackle the root of our pension problem like the participation
      > rate in the work force particularly of women".
      >
      > AD appealed for consensus between political parties and stakeholders on
      this
      > reform.
      >
      > "While it is unavoidable that different ideas are expressed on this
      reform,
      > it is important that the new pension system gains the confidence of all
      > stake holders and political parties".
      >
      > "This budget fails in creating a solid basis for a genuine dialogue
      between
      > the social partners and within Maltese and Gozitan civil society to ensure
      > the enactment of long lasting and necessary structural reforms. The
      > government must lead by example. The greates example our government can
      give
      > is through greater political accountability", concluded Dr. Vassallo.
      >
      > James Debono
      > Public Relations Officer
      >
      >
      >
      > Stqarrija Stampa
      > Reazzjoni Ufficjali tal-AD ghall-budget 2005
      > L-izbalji tal-imghoddi johonqu t-tkabbir ekonomiku
      >
      >
      > Alternattiva Demokratika ipprezentat ir-reazzjoni ufficjali taghha
      > ghall-budget waqt konferenza stampa indirizzata mic- Chairperson tal-AD
      Dr.
      > Harry Vassallo u mill-Kelliem ghall-finanzi, l-ekonomija u t-turizmu
      Edward
      > Fenech.
      >
      > Dr. Vassallo sejjah lill-gvern biex jassumi ir-responsabilita politika
      > ghall-istat prekarju tal-finanzi tal-pajjiz u ghar-rata baxxa ta'tkabbir
      > ekonomiku.
      >
      > "Bhala partit responsabli ahna nirrikonoxxu li t-tnaqqis tad-deficit hija
      > l-ikbar priorita bhalissa. Madankollu nistennew sens ikbar ta'
      > responsabilita politika mill-gvern Nazzjonalista ghall-istat prezenti
      > tal-ekonomija. Sfortunatment in-nuqqas ta' accountability politika mhix
      biss
      > kienet karratteristika tal-gvernijiet Nazjonalisti tal-passat izda wkoll
      > ikkaraterizzat il-gvern prezenti li wera nuqqas ta'responsabilita
      > f'decizjonijiet importanti bhal dik dwar Dar Malta u fil- proposta li
      > jinbena parlament gdid. F' termini reali l-ekonomija Maltija ma kibritx
      > fis-snin 2000-2004, u dan kien minnhabba il-fatt li pajjizna kien qed
      > jaffaccja krizi ta' deficit strutturali. B'rizultat ta'dan pajjizna ghandu
      > fost l-inqas rata ta'tkabbir ekonomiku fost l-ghaxar membri godda
      tal-Unjoni
      > Ewropea ".
      >
      > Dr. Vassallo innota wkoll li l- budget hu nieqes minn vizjoni ekologika u
      > socjali cara u holistika li tista' sservi bhala il-qafas tal-izvilupp
      > sostenibli ta'Malta u Ghawdex.
      >
      > "Waqt li hemm xi ftit mizuri li jincentivaw l-uzu ta' prodotti li ma
      jehlux
      > energija, l-uzu tat-trasport pubbliku li jifranka l-energija u jghin biex
      > jonqos it-tniggiz gie penalizzat b'zieda massiva ta'33% minnkejja li ma
      > sarghet l-ebda riforma sinifikanti f'dan is-settur. Ir-revizjoni tar-rati
      > tad-dawl u l-ilma ma kinitx wahda li ghamlet distinzjoni cara bejn minn
      juza
      > dawn ir-rizorsi b'ghaqal u min jehli. Qabel il-budget l-AD kienet
      proponiet
      > rati percentali differenzjati li jippenalizaw l-iktar lil min jehli.
      > Sfortunatment il-gvern introduca rata percentwali wahda ta'17%. Ghal dawn
      > l-ahhar snin l-AD sejhet ghall-introduzzjoni ta' servizz ta'energy
      auditing
      > li permezz tieghu jinghataw pariri ghall-uzu bil-ghaqal tal-energija
      > lill-familji u n-negozzji Maltin u Ghawdxin. Ghal darba ohra il-gvern
      naqas
      > milli juza t-taxxa ekologika biex jinfluenza l-ghazla tal-konsumatur. Waqt
      > li l-eco tax giet estiza ghal iktar prodotti, ma sarx attentat biex f'kull
      > kategorija ta'prodotti jinghata incentiv lil dak il-prodott li jaghmel
      > l-inqas hsara lill-ambjent u li jehli l-inqas energija. Il-budget ma
      > indirizzax l-impatt ekonomiku, ekologiku u socjali negattiv tal-prezz
      dejjem
      > jizdied tal-propjeta. Din is-sitwazzjoni qed taffetwa l-kompetittivita
      > ta'pajjizna ghax qed izid il-pressjoni fuq il-pagi. Din is-sitwazzjoni
      > tista' tigi rizolta permezz ta'liberalizazzjoni tal-ligijiet skaduti
      > tal-kera u permezz ta'mizuri fiskali li jippenalizzaw l-ispekulazzjoni".
      >
      > L-AD tenniet l-importanza ta'mizuri bl-ghan li jitnaqqas id-deficit
      > strutturali ghall-livell sostenibli.
      >
      > Il-Kelliem tal-AD dwar il-finanzi, l-ekonomija u t-turizmu Edward Fenech
      > esprima d-dizappuntament ghall-fatt li d-dhul tal-gvern se jizdied b'rata
      > ikbar mir-rata ta'tkabbir ekonomiku.L-AD tul dawn l-ahhar xhur insistiet
      li
      > biex l-ekonomija ma tigix mahnuqa z-zieda fid-dhul tal-gvern m'ghandiex
      tkun
      > ikbar mir-rata ta'tkabbir ekonomiku. Il-gvern ma kienx car jekk din
      iz-zieda
      > hux se tkun biss rizultat ta' gbir ta'arretrati tat-taxxa u permezz ta'
      > kontroll ikbar fuq l-evazjoni tat-taxxa, zewg mizuri li ghandhom l-appogg
      > shih tal-AD. L-AD esprimiet id-dizappunt taghha li l-budget ma kienx
      > jinkludi pjan serju biex tigi indirizzata l-pjaga tal-evazjoni tat-taxxa.
      >
      > Fuq nota pozittiva l-AD esprimiet qbil ma mizuri immirati biex irazznu
      > l-abbuz.
      >
      > "Id-decizjoni tal-gvern biex jizdied il-prezz tal-pitrolju biex irazzan
      > l-abbuz ta'dawk li kienu qed ihaltuh mad-deisel kienet mizura li ilna
      > nistennew ghal hafna snin. Naqblu wkoll mal-mizura biex kull min
      > jirregistra ghax-xoghol jibda jattendi korsijiet ta'tahrig. Nawguraw li
      dawn
      > il-korsijiet ma jservux biss bhala formalita biex titrazzan l-ekonomija
      > s-sewda izda jservu wkoll biex min hu genwinament bla xoghol jitghallem
      > snajja godda. Fl-istess hin ninsabu dizappuntati li l-gvern ma indirizzax
      > il-kwistjoni tan-nofs ta'nhari tas-Sajf fis-settur pubbliku. Qabel
      il-budget
      > l-AD issuggeriet sistema fejn servizzi pubblici importanti jigu provduti
      > fis-Sajf permezz ta' skeleton staff u dan iservi biex titnaqqas l-ispiza
      > tal-overtime", sostna Edward Fenech.
      >
      > L-AD esprimiet sodisfazzjon ghall-publikazzjoni ta' white paper fuq
      > ir-riforma tal-penzjonijiet. Edward Fenech habbar li l-AD waqfet task
      force
      > biex thejji reazzjoni dettaljata ghal dan ir-rapport. Bhala reazzjoni
      > inizjali ghar-rapport Fenech sostna:
      >
      > "Bhala punt ta'principju l-gvern irid dejjem jiggarantixxi pensjoni minima
      > li tizgura ghixien dicenti ghal kullhadd. Dan il-principju tant hu wiehed
      > importanti li ghandu jinghata rikonoxximent fil-kostituzzjoni. Ikun ghaqli
      > jekk ir-riforma ma titrattax lill-kategoriji ta'haddiema differenti
      > bl-istess mod. Kategoriji ta' xoghol li jinvolvu sforz fiziku jew mentali
      > qawwi ghandhom ikollhom eta ta'irtirat iktar baxxa. Ghandu jittiehed
      > inkonsiderazzjoni wkoll l-medja ta' hin tax-xoghol f'kull kategorija b'mod
      > li dawk il-kategoriji bl-inqas vaganzi u hin hieles jibdew jirtiraw qabel
      > kategoriji li jgawdu minn gimgha ta'xoghol iqsar jew/u aktar vaganzi.
      > Ir-riforma ghandha wkoll tindirizza l-gheruq tal-problema
      tal-penzjonijiet.
      > ost ohrajn ghandha tindirizza r-rata tal-partecipazzjoni tan-nisa fis-suq
      > tax-xoghol".
      >
      > L-AD tenniet il-htiega ta' konsensus bejn il-partiti u l-imsiehba socjali
      > biex din ir-riforma tkun wahda dejjiema.
      >
      > "Waqt li huwa inevitabli li jigu prezentati ideat differenti dwar dawn
      > ir-riformi, huwa vitali li s-sistema gdida tal-penzjonijiet tkun wahda li
      > tgawdi l-fiducja tal-imsiehba socjali u l-partiti politici kollha".
      >
      > "Dan il-budget sfortunatment ma kienx wiehed li jservi bhala pedament sod
      > ghal djalogu socjali fi hdan is-socjeta civili Maltija u Ghawdxija li
      > jwassal ghal dawk ir-riformi li huma tant essenzjali biex pajjizna jsir
      > iktar kompetittiv. Biex dan il-ghan jintlahaq il-gvern irid imexxi
      > bl-ezempju. L-ikbar ezempju ghandu jkun ghaqal u accountability politika
      > ikbar minn naha tal-gvern" temm jghid Dr. Vassallo.
      >
      > James Debono
      > Public Relations Officer
      >
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