Budget 2017 – Our Expectations

Budget 2017 in a nutshell – here are some highlights that us at ADZ are expecting

  • Minimum Wage: We have long argued that a strong booming economy in Malta is reason enough to raise the minimum wage. We feel that increasing the minimum wage to a rate which reflects today’s economy and society would uplift communities, increase spending power and help families make ends meet.

  • Road Safety: In recent light of traffic accidents, including unfortunate fatalities, we feel that part of the Budget should be dedicated to road safety measures which include extensive educational advertising campaigns by Government and Transport Malta to encourage road education, improvement in road quality to higher standards and increase penalties for traffic violation. Traffic fines should be allocated accordingly to improve the state in which many roads are to be found.

  • Open Spaces: a percentage of the Budget should be allocated to creating open spaces with emphasis on indigenous species, park facilities and recreational areas for families. We believe such investments are important for the well being of many communities in terms of health and living standards.

  • Energy: Clean energy targets have to be reached by 2020, so we believe further funds should be allocated to building solar farms and introduce new government rebates on solar panel purchase for households and businesses.

  • Education: The cornerstone of any society and educational system should well-funded. State schools should receive better funding for maintenance and educational programs as well as for the modernization of educational institutions such as MCAST and the University of Malta. Existing schools should be expanded to reflect growth in population and new schools built within development zones with adequate sporting facilities.

  • Sports: We would like the Government to create an intensive educational campaign on obesity and the problems associated to seriously tackle the problem. Additionally, the long overdue sports village should receive sufficient funds for its’ purpose and students attending higher education institutes should have subsidised fees for gyms, sports activities and nutritional advice.

  • Health – Health centres and polyclinics should receive new funding for better equipment, customer service and medicines. St Lukes Hospital should receive a new embellishment scheme to introduce as a “new health village”. We also urge the government to enforce measures on air and sea quality and tackle drug and alcohol abuse. These measures could include educational campaigns and better law enforcement as well as counselling programmes. Mater Dei should receive the funding it requires to improve bed shortage, queue problems and customer service. We also hope that the Gozo General Hospital embellishment receives its funds to provide the best health service to Gozo.

  • Economic Inequality – the next budget should not only focus on the COLA but also increase the minimum wage as well as implement new initiatives to encourage entrepreneurship to elevate people from poverty. This initiative would give citizens an incentive to start new SMEs and small businesses. Pensions for our elderly should be increased according to the cost of living and continue funding for childcare centers for single parents.

  • Taxation: Contribution is important to any modern society but we believe in a fair contribution system whereby high earners contribute more than low earners and the income bracket at which to tax is elevated and the maximum tax bracket is increased.

  • Environment & Cultural Heritage – We strongly believe that necessary funds should be allocated to protect natural areas, for the introduction of more educational programs and campaigns on the environment and for the protection of wildlife and bird migration. Heavier penalties should be imposed on illegal dumping of waste. The Cleansing Directorate should be adequately funded to clean up Malta and cameras may be installed for more effective enforcement.

  • We recommend that a Wildlife Unit should be setup to handle poaching, illegal hunting and illegal fishing activities. More funding for agriculture and upkeep and general cleanliness of the Maltese countryside should be allocated also. Country roads should be well maintained. Historic and cultural buildings should receive funding and protection, as well as touristic promotion for locals and foreigners alike.

  • Traffic: We recomend carpooling programs, better public transport through increased investment, encouragement of water transport, better VRT regulations on emissions locally and on an EU level and funding towards traffic management systems during peak hours.

Today’s budget should reflect society and its needs. We are looking forward to the budget of social justice and towards progressive ideas to fund projects which help the Maltese citizens achieve a higher standard of living without forsaking its environment and culture.

We believe in a Budget that will tackle modern day issues and yet achieve results of a booming economy with a social conscious. This Budget should focus on growth of the economy without overspending and one that helps citizens feel that 2017 will be a year of progress and social justice.

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