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[WATCH] Free childcare for all, increased children's allowance amongst PN proposals for family

Nationalist Party leader Simon Busuttil said a new PN government would introduce free school transport for all students, extend maternity leave and introduce paternity leave

paul_cocks
Paul Cocks
8 May 2017, 9:18am
Last updated on 8 May 2017, 10:21am
Nationalist Party leader Simon Busuttil
Nationalist Party leader Simon Busuttil
Free childcare for all, increased minimum wage amongst PN proposals for family
A new PN government will offer free childcare services to all parents, free school transport for all students, increase children's allowance, extend maternity leave and make it possible for parents to use their sick leave when their children are sick, Opposition leader Simon Busuttil said this morning. 

Busuttil, who was addressing a press conference at the Nationalist Party headquarters, said that these family-oriented measures would prove of great benefit to many families but conceded that some of them would need the consent of all social partners. 

"We still believe that this election will not be decided on the proposals but on the principles and values of integrity when faced with all the corruption and money laundering going on," he said.

"The election should not be a teleshopping programme, with people vying to offer the best prices to the masses."

Busuttil said the PN was proposing extending free childcare service to all parents, not only those who chose to join the workforce, in a measure that would cost government €53 million. 

"This proposal builds on a scheme introduced by the Labour government. But extends it to everyone," he said. "We will also be increasing children’s allowance from €450 to €550 yearly per child."

In the case of parents on minimum wage, the allowance will rise to €650. 

A new PN government will also seek the agreement of social partners to extend maternity leave from 18 to 22 weeks and introduce four weeks of paternity leave.  

"This expense will be subsidised by the government so it will not be a burden on employers," Busuttil said. 

He said the party was also proposing making it possible for parents to use their sick leave allowance when their children were sick and not only when they themselves need it. 

Busuttil said that a new PN government would offer free school transport for church and private school students, as already was the case with government school students. 

"And although we believe this election is not merely about proposals, we will still be presenting a number of proposals and will continue to do so, as we are doing today with these family-oriented measures," he said. 

The party will also be explaining how people could benefit from the funds currently being lost to corruption, he added. 

paul_cocks
Paul Cocks joined MaltaToday after having spent years working in newspapers with The Times...