Labour : ensuring a smooth transition

Franco Debono has made many a statement during the past 12 months. He abstained when a vote of no confidence was submitted against Minister Austin Gatt. He explained that he did so as he wanted to give the man and his party another chance!

He has been stating for days now, that he will not vote in favour of the budget  because he considers that Austin Gatt should have resigned months ago due to his political failures. Whether  Franco Debono will keep his word is anybody’s guess. But if he does the budget will not be approved. We will have to keep guessing what comes next for some more days.

With this in mind the budget’s relevance is limited.

But we need not panic as Labour will come to the rescue. Labour, we are told, will deliver.

Progressive Labour will deliver income tax revised rates which will ignore low wage earners and reduce tax payable to those who are already reasonably well off. No tax deductions can be guaranteed for low wage earners by Labour.

Progressive Labour, like conservative PN, does not agree with the need to revise the minimum wage. It is not in the interest of employers to do so. And it is their vote which progressive Labour is after.  The employers’ vote, that is!

Why should progressive Labour accept the GWU’s proposal to have the cost of living adjustment paid in two installments?  There is consensus between the PN and Labour that the GWU’s proposals should be ignored. It is only Alternattiva Demokratika which has offered support for a progressive incomes policy as proposed by the GWU.

Labour, the progressive party, has opted for a conservative approach: the PN’s approach. It is the only way forward as in this way it ensures a smooth transition,  continuity and stability!

…………… and they looked from pig to man and from man to pig again and could not tell which was which.  The more things change, the more they remain the same.

published at di-ve.com  on Friday 30 November 2012

Wanted: a progressive incomes policy

The budget to be presented next Wednesday should revisit Malta’s incomes policy such that the difficulties faced by low income households is addressed.

The minimum wage should be increased in line with the findings of the Caritas Report published in March this year. This report entitled “A Minimum budget for a decent living” had focused on three low income household categories and concluded that it is necessary to uplift the statutory minimum wage from €158.11 to €180 per week of 40 hours. It is unfortunate that both the PN and Labour are deadset against this proposal.

Alternattiva Demokratika  realises the importance of such a proposal in assisting those having a low income to make ends meet and has repeatedly encouraged its implementation.

Another proposal on incomes policy is on the table. The General Workers’ Union has proposed that Cost of Living wage adjustments should be made every 6 months. Implementing this proposal would provide a realistic and timely compensation to those at the lower end of the social ladder.

Its about time that these proposals are seriously considered by government in its budget proposals.

originally published in di-ve.com, Friday 23rd November 2012