Alternattiva Demokratika

The Green Party

Press Releases

Budget with positive proposals, yet which postpones energy problems

Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party said that Government's proposed budget for 2012 was mixed, with a number of positive proposals, yet which postpones Malta's energy problems as regard dependence on fossil fuels and unsustainable water usage. AD also said that tax amendments, though positive, should have been progressive.

Michael Briguglio, AD Chairperson and Spokesperson for Economy and Finance, said: "AD welcomes the fact that Malta's deficit is decreasing, and we welcome the intention to have further deficit reductions in a context of global crisis and EU requirements. We congratulate the Government for this important achievement, but we augur that the projections do not lose track for electoral purposes, as was the case prior to previous elections. Deficit reduction is essential for a sustainable economy".

"As regards fiscal policy, AD agrees with measures such as tax deductions to all parents, even though we would have preferred it to be progressive by rewarding income earners on the lower taxable scales. We however regret that Government has once again failed to introduce tax on property speculation, despite the increase in vacant property and the lack of affordable housing for low and middle income earners".

“AD is also critical of the fact that once again, the Government has failed to give priority to renewable energy. Malta is required to have 10% of energy coming from renewable sources by 2020. Yet, Government persists in introducing sporadic initiatives rather than holistic policies for renewable energy use. The plain truth is that dirty fossil fuels will keep increasing in price whilst increasing pollution in the process. The only guarantee for clean energy and stable prices comes from renewable energy, which creates green jobs in the process".

Carmel Cacopardo, AD Spokesperson for Sustainable Development and Home Affairs, said: "The budget does not refer to action which government will be embarking on during the fiscal year 2012 to protect water resources. In particular it is silent on the need to accelerate the process through which to stop the illegal extraction of water through unauthorised boreholes. This depletion of the water table has a direct impact on the availability of water for consumption purposes as it forces Water Services Corporation to rely heavily on reverse osmosis and is in itself a contribution to the prices which are charged for water. Nor does the budget refer to the implementation of the Climate Change Adaptation Strategy.

"AD, said Carmel Cacopardo, welcomes the budget proposals which encourage the regeneration of dilapidated buildings through fiscal incentives. This measure is long overdue and will undoubtedly be of help in the regeneration of village cores and protected buildings. However, the budget once again ignored the ever increasing stock of vacant property quantified at 54,000 in the 2005 census and substantially higher today. This glut of vacant property has accumulated as a result of the irresponsible land use planning policies espoused by the PN-led government. Reversal of the planning policies which led to this glut together with an adequate mix of incentives and taxation of vacant property is called for.

Angele Deguara, AD Spokesperson for Social Policy, said: "AD welcomes the Government's attempt to encourage more parents to join the labour market. Regarding the proposal to extend maternity leave, we were in favour of the EU Commission's proposal for maternity leave to be extended to 20 weeks, and for 2 week paternity leave, from the beginning. We hope that the talks with the other social partners will be fruitful in order for this initiative to be implemented, even if it is for less than 20 weeks. We also welcome the opening of more childcare centres. However, unless these are affordable they will not be utilized by lower income earners"

"As regards the cost of living, AD welcomes the various measures which aim to compensate different groups, yet we are disappointed that Government did not have the courage to increase the minimum wage, despite the hardships faced by low income earners. If such a measure is coupled with increase in productivity, it would not be inflationary. We also note that the much needed reform in the COLA methodology has been postponed".

Bagit bi proposti pozittivi imma li jipposponi l-problemi tal-energija

L-Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party qalet li l-bagit propost mill-Gvern ghall-2012 kien imhallat, b’numru ta’ proposti pozittivi, imma li jipposponi l-problemi ta’ energija li ghandha Malta fir-rigward ta’ dipendenza fuq il-fossil fuels u l-uzu insostenibbli tal-ilma. L-AD qalet ukoll li l-bidliet li saru fit-taxxa, ghalkemm pozittivi, messhom kienu progressivi.

Michael Briguglio, ic-Chairperson tal-AD u Kelliem ghall-Ekonomija u l-Finanzi, qal: "L-AD tiehu gost tisma’ li d-deficit qed jonqos u li l-intenzjoni hija li jkompli jitnaqqas specjalment fil-kuntest ta’ krizi globali u anke minhabba pressjoni mill-UE. Ahna nifirhu lill-Gvern li rnexxielu jilhaq dan l-ghan u nawguraw li l-pjanijiet li tfasslu ma jintesewx minhabba l-elezzjonijiet li jmiss bhal ma gara qabel elezzjonijiet ohra. It-tnaqqis tad-deficit huwa essenzjali ghal ekonomija sostenibbli.”

Rigward il-politika fiskali, l-AD taqbel ma mizuri bhal dawk ta’ tnaqqis ta’ taxxa ghall-genituri, ghalkemm konna nippreferu kieku l-bidliet kienu progressivi, fejn dawk li jaqalghu inqas fl-iskali taxxabbli, jiffrankaw aktar taxxa. Jiddispjacina li l-Gvern rega ghal darb’ohra naqas milli jintroduci taxxa fuq l-ispekulazzjoni tal-art, minkejja z-zieda fi propjetajiet vojta u n-nuqqas ta’ djar li jifilhu jhallsu ghalihom nies bi dhul baxx jew medju.”

“L-AD tikkritika wkoll il-fatt li ghal darb’ohra l-Gvern ma tax priorita’ lill-energija alternattiva. Malta hija mistennija li jkollha 10% tal-energija gejja minn sorsi li jiggeddu sal-2020. Izda l-Gvern baqa’ jintroduci inizjattivi bil-bicciet minflok ifassal politika shiha fuq l-uzu tal-energija rinovabbli. Il-verita hi li z-zejt ser jibqa joghla fil-prezz filwaqt li fl-istess hin izid it-tniggiz. L-unika garanzija ghal energija nadifa u prezzijiet stabbli tigi mill-energija alternattiva, li fl-istess hin tohloq green jobs.”

Carmel Cacopardo, il-Kelliem tal-AD ghall-izvilupp sostenibbli u l-Intern, qal: “Il-bagit ma jaghmilx referenza ghal-azzjoni li l-Gvern se jiehu fis-sena fiskali li gejja biex jipprotegi s-sorsi tal-ilma. Hemm silenzju b’mod partikolari fuq il-bzonn li jithaffef il-process li permezz tieghu jitwaqqfu dawk li qed itellghu l-ilma mill-boreholes minghajr permess. Dan it-tnaqqis tal-ilma mill-water table ghandu impatt dirett fuq l-ilma ghall-konsum ghaliex minhabba dan is-serq, il-Korporazzjoni ghas-Servizzi tal-Ilma ikollha toqghod fuq il-process tar-reverse osmosis li fih innifsu jikkontribwixxi ghall-prezz li qed inhallsu ghall-ilma. Il-bagit jonqos ukoll milli jaghmel referenza ghall-implimentazzjoni tal-Istrategija ta’Addattament ghat-Tibdil fil-Klima”.

"L-AD, qal Carmel Cacopardo, tilqa’ l-proposti li permezz ta’ incentivi fiskali, ihajru lil min jirriabilita bini mitluq. Din il-mizura messha ilha li ttiehdet u bla dubju ser tghin biex tigi irrigenerata il-qalba ta’ bosta bliet u rhula Maltin kif ukoll bini skedat. Izda l-bagit ghal darb’ohra injora n-numru ta’ propjetajiet vojta li dejjem qed jizdiedu. Fic-censiment tal-2005 kien hemm 54,000 u zgur li llum hemm hafna aktar. Din il-kwantita’ ta’ propjeta’ giet akkumulta bhala rizultat ta’ politika irresponsabbli dwar l-uzu tal-art li giet iprattikat mill-Gvern immexxi mill-PN. Ghalhekk jehtieg tibdil f’din id-direzzjoni politika li wasslet ghal din is-sitwazzjoni, flimkien ma tahlita ta’ incentivi u tassazzjoni fuq propjeta’ vojta.”

Angele Deguara, il-Kelliema tal-AD ghall-Politika Socjali, qalet: "L-AD tilqa’ d-diversi inizjattivi tal-Gvern biex iheggeg aktar genituri jidhlu fid-dinja tax-xoghol. Rigward il-proposta biex jigi mtawwal il-maternity leave, ahna mill-ewwel konna favur il-proposta tal-Kummissjoni Ewropeja li jizdied il-maternity leave ghal ghoxrin gimgha u ghal zieda ta’ leave tal-paternita’ ghall-gimghatejn. Nisperaw li t-tahdidiet mal-imsiehba socjali l-ohra ihallu l-frott biex din l-inizjattiva tkun tista tidhol fis-sehh, anke jekk hija ghal inqas minn 20 gimgha. Ahna naqblu wkoll li jinfethu aktar centri ghall-harsien tat-tfal. Pero’ jekk dawn ma jigux offruti bi prezz li jifilhu jhallsu ghalih dawk li ma jaqilghux hafna flus, dawn ma jkunux jistghu juzaw dawn ic-centri.”

“Rigward l-gholi tal-hajja, L-AD tilqa’ b’sodisfazzjon il-mizuri ta’ kumpens li ser igawdu minnhom diversi gruppi, imma fl-istess hin ahna dizappuntati li l-Gvern ma kellux il-kuragg li jzid il-paga minima. Dan minkejja t-tbatija li qed jghaddu minnha dawk li ghandhom dhul baxx. Jekk din il-mizura tkun ikkumbinata ma’ zieda fil-produttivita’, din ma twassalx ghall-inflazzjoni. Ninnutaw ukoll li r-riforma tant mehtiega fil-metodu ta’ kif tigi ikkalkulata l-COLA regghet giet posposta.”