CMTU urges government to focus on strong welfare system

Confederation of Malta Trade Unions sends the government their proposals for Budget 2015. 

The government should focus on a meaningful and strong social welfare system in Budget 2015, the Confederation of Malta Trade Unions said.

“This will include funding for specific research and work to enhance the possibility of maintaining people in jobs with robust income and to ensure protection to workers and pensioners.”

They said that the present national maximum ‘two-thirds of one’s salary’ pension, at around  €900 every month “does not provide for a decent standard of living and cannot remain unaddressed”.

The amount of pension a person is entitled to receive from the government depends on their pre-retirement salary and on how many National Insurance contributions they have made.

“The National Insurance contributions should be increased over a number of years so that the present maximum ‘two-thirds’ pension could be reviewed upwards.”  

They also encouraged the government to promote active ageing by adjusting workplaces and tasks to the physical and mental capacities of older workers, and by introducing policies that promote flexible work arrangements, such as shorter hours and extra leave, for older workers.

CMTU went on to propose three tax schemes. One involves the setting up of a Government Advisory Panel that will decide whether outstanding tax amount dues should be reduced, the aim being to counter tax avoidance. The second proposal is a ‘social investment tax relief’, whereby tax relief will be available to people who invest in enterprises that are of benefit to society, such as nursing and residential care homes. The third proposal involves the government offering tax relief to small and medium businesses (SMEs) who carry out research and development projects.

Elsewhere, CMTU suggested that the government invest in local councils, reduce bureaucracy, and provide financial assistance to NGOs, unions and social partners through a special government fund.

“Special financial assistance should be given to those conducting research studies on development and innovation,” the CMTU said.  “Building a feel good factor momentum through the effective assistance of households and the business community whilst ensuring that vulnerable categories of society are being well supported should always be one of the key elements emanating from budget measures, well supported by much needed good governance.”

 

More in Budget 2015