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[WATCH] PL proposes 'Low Wage Commission' to periodically adjust minimum wage

The Labour Party has proposed establishing a Low Wage Commission, that will recommend adjustments to the minimum wage every four years

jeanelle_mifsud
Jeanelle Mifsud
24 May 2017, 12:51pm
Prime Minister and Labour Party leader Joseph Muscat addresses a press conference with PL MP Silvio Parnis and candidate Rosianne Cutajar. Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday
Prime Minister and Labour Party leader Joseph Muscat addresses a press conference with PL MP Silvio Parnis and candidate Rosianne Cutajar. Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday
The Labour Party has proposed establishing a Low Wage Commission, following the advice of social partners, that will recommend adjustments to the minimum wage every four years.

Addressing a news conference at Mdina together with MP Silvio Parnis and candidate Rosianne Cutajar, Prime Minister and Labour Party leader Joseph Muscat said that the PL’s policies focused on helping “working families”.

“We aim to have a social safety net for genuine social cases where people cannot work, but our main priority is to encourage people to seek employment. Education and work are tools against marginalisation and poverty and in favour of social mobility,” Muscat said.

A new Labour government, he said, would look into the possibility of introducing a basic living income by giving fiscal incentives to companies who offer such wages. "First there would need to be a study regarding the adequate level of income in a household and for a person," Muscat added.

Other family-friendly measures announced today include reduced transport and exam fees and increased children’s allowance and tax refunds for families with two children who earn a medium gross of €17,000.

In order to encourage people to become property owners, the government was looking to extend the agreement it had with APS Bank, where the bank will also be covering the 10% deposit demanded by sellers upon promise of sale, to include other banks.

“We will also extend the conditions of the first-time buyers scheme to families who which to move house. This way, each family will save up to €5,250,” Parnis said.

People could also be exempted from the payment of withholding tax on property, as long as this went towards certain types of investments.

Moreover, a new Labour government would extend childcare services to include more space cater to those working night shifts.

Muscat added that a new Labour government would not push up the retirement age or increase national insurance tax.