Back
Register for SMS Alerts
or enter your details manually below...
First Name:
Last Name:
Email:
Password:
Hometown:
Birthday:
Sorry, we couldn't find that email.
Existing users
Email
Password
Sorry, we couldn't find those details.
Enter Email
Sorry, we couldn't find that email.

Economic sustainability – tapping the potential and addressing shortcomings

PL candidate Chris Cardona: During our mandate, we have demonstrated our diligence in the updating and introduction of innovative laws that create real change in people’s lives

9 May 2017, 1:17pm
After four years at the helm we can truly appreciate the potential, the hard-graft of the Maltese worker, and what this country can achieve
After four years at the helm we can truly appreciate the potential, the hard-graft of the Maltese worker, and what this country can achieve
In four years, the Labour government has proved itself to be loyal to its electoral manifesto, socialist values, and an economically competent powerhouse. Unprecedented economic growth has allowed us to address this prosperity with a purpose. We fully acknowledge that we are duty-bound to make the most of and guarantee economic stability. Breaking new horizons on all fronts means that our businesses can break new ground as well.

The Labour Party electoral manifesto for the coming election, gives tangible, costed and thought-through initiatives that will spur further economic growth. After four years at the helm we can truly appreciate the potential, the hard-graft of the Maltese worker, and what this country can achieve. We have seen an economic transformation, budding new projects and a sense of optimism that is unique to this time. 

One of our biggest achievements was bolstering Malta Enterprise, as a true supporter of local businesses. There are now an array of incentives on offer – from tax breaks to initiatives that support the personal development and further studying of employees. We are proposing adding on to these incentives, and improving those already available. 

As our country can provide and cater for better quality services, the scheme MicroInvest will increase the value of assistance to encourage undertakings to invest in their business, innovate, expand, and implement compliance directives or to develop their operations. For businesses based in Malta the €30,000 assistance currently on offer will be increased to €50,000, whilst those based in Gozo will benefit from €70,000 of aid. To encourage female entrepreneurs and female recruitment, female-run or majority-female businesses this measure will also benefit from this €70,000 boost. 

One of our economy’s largest challenges was, and remains, access to finance. This has been an issue that has unwaveringly cropped up, even as we pumped money into start-ups and incubators. Start-ups which are at this vulnerable stage but do not qualify for these initiatives know that access to finance is do-or-die. We have curbed this with seed-funding from the Seed Investment Scheme and the B.Start scheme. Since late 2015 to date, more than €1.75 million has been distributed in the form of €25,000 grants to Maltese and Gozitan start-ups. 

Malta’s economic future depends on embracing innovation. As is evident by new budding businesses, the talent is here but the hurdles they face is not proportionate. A new Labour government will not only extend current seed aid but is promising to play a more vigilant and pro-active role in assuring that SMEs’ financial needs are met through the Development bank, and commercial banks alike. This without jeopardising investment and assuring that these continue to fulfil their roles as safe and secure providers

In our proposals so far, we have acknowledged that businesses deserve more security and to be rewarded for their investment and pluck, with an updated business environment. During our mandate, we have demonstrated our diligence in the updating and introduction of innovative laws that create real change in people’s lives. We have also shown the necessary sensitivity to various issues, even on the business front. Our Family Business Act, which kept in mind the heavily-convoluted dynamics and intricacies of family businesses, is a European acclaimed testament to this. 

We are now proposing a reform in rent legislation that will take a number of variables into account, such as the number of years the renter has occupied the space as well as the number of people in employ. We are also encouraging growth of emerging businesses by updating the current VAT threshold. This threshold has not been updated for 18 years, and we will be upping it from €14,000 to €20,000. A significant number of businesses will be saving circa €1,080 annually, whilst also cutting down on the number of needless bureaucratic forms. 

These are just a few of the many ideas that we are proposing, specifically designed to propagate growth. As our country has grown, opportunities have flourished, the standards to meet have risen and our people demand more. We are ready and prepared to answer that call. 

Chris Cardona is deputy leader of the Labour Party and is a candidate on the eighth district

DealToday
follow us on facebook