Financial plans presented by Malta’s two major parties make it clear that they favour a society made up of low-wage earners working longer hours, the ADPD has argued.
Malta’s green party said that both the government’s budget for 2022 and the opposition’s own proposals were filled with “token” measures to appease the working class, while protecting those at the top of the economic food chain.
“It will only be parliamentary representatives elected from the ADPD candidates’ list that will insist on a decent minimum wage and ensure that each measure proposed is sustainable,” the ADPD said.
Speaking at a press conference on Saturday, ADPD candidate and international secretary Mina Tolu said that this year’s budget had again failed to address Malta’s minimum wage failings. She noted that both the Labour and Nationalist parties were opposing proposals to introduce EU-wide minimum wage legislation.
Instead, the government had said that it would be lowering taxes on overtime – something that for many workers was a necessity.
Working overtime often led to a lower quality of life and burnout, Tolu said, and instead of incentivizing it, the government should be finding ways of reducing the 40-hour work week without cutting pay or conditions, she said.
Tolu’s argument was backed by ADPD chairperson Carmel Cacopardo, who described budget measures as “token” ones built on optimistic growth models that could very easily go haywire, as the government’s own fiscal advisory council had noted.
Both ADPD candidates were similarly unimpressed by the PN’s budget proposals of its own.
“It seems that Christmas has come early in Malta,” the party noted, referring to the largesse both parties were promising.
Cacopardo said the PN seemed keen on outdoing the government at its own game by promising “more measures to all and sundry”, while saying nothing about low wages and the working poor, or Malta’s preferential tax system for wealthy foreign investors.
“While billionaire multinationals pay 5%, local SMEs pay 35% in tax,” Cacopardo said.
The party said that environmental promises made were just a smokescreen for all the damage wrought over the past years, while pledges made to farmers could not make up for all the hindrances they now faced.
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