Volt pledges European basic income for low earners instead of taxes

Volt Malta launches manifesto with pledge for European Basic Income (EBI) where people earning below a certain income threshold receive payments instead of paying taxes

Volt Malta candidate for Europe, Matthias Iannis Portelli
Volt Malta candidate for Europe, Matthias Iannis Portelli

The pan-European party Volt has launched its manifesto across Europe, with its sole Maltese candidate for MEP, Matthias Iannis Portelli, saying the party was pledging stronger rights for the LGBTQIA+ community, sexual and reproductive health rights, as wel as te creation of a European Basic Income.

“We may all be EU citizens, but it doesn’t make sense that in some member states you can marry whom you love, regardless of gender, while in others you can’t. Same goes for reproductive rights, in some countries you have the right to choose whether someone pregnant wants to carry out their pregnancy, and in some cases it’s still seen as criminal,” Portelli said.

The party aims to create a European Basic Income (EBI), modelled after a negative tax system, where people earning below a certain income threshold receive payments instead of paying taxes. It will also push for regionally adjusted minimum wage standards to ensure the EBI isn’t exploited.

This will be coupled with incentivising member states to reduce the number of deductions in favour of lower income tax rates and to shrink the number of taxes to promote simplicity while ensuring citizens have dignified lives with the EBI.

Volt also wants to establish a protected right to be offline outside of working hours, and require employers to accept the request for remote work from employees if it’s possible to do the job remotely.

“Democratising the workplace is another goal of Volt, where it intends to encourage worker participation in boards of large companies, and promote unionisation by protecting the right to collective bargaining and lifting barriers to entry for new and accountable unions and forms of representation,” Portelli said.

Volet wants the European Parliament to have the right to initiate laws, replacing the Council of the European Union with a European Senate, and abolishing the European Council. “To avoid gridlock, instead of unanimity, the Senate would work on qualified majority voting,” Portelli said.

“The EU we have today is far from capable of addressing today’s challenges, treaty change is long overdue, and what’s worse, barely anyone understands how it works.”

“How many people can actually say they can tell the European Council, Council of the EU, and Council of Europe apart? One of these isn’t part of the EU and only one of them is involved in the EU’s legislative process. Having an unnecessarily complicated system is part of the problem.”

Volt also said it will work to ensure that the Fundamental Rights of the LGBTQIA+ community, such as the right to marriage, legal gender recognition, and freedom of expression are respected in practice throughout the EU. Furthermore, wants for parents in rainbow families are recognised as such throughout the EU.

Volt will also press for the inclusion of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in the EU Treaties and of the right to abortion in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

Volt is running for the European Parliament elections with the same programme and name in over a dozen countries. In April it elected Damian Boeselager from Volt Germany and Sophie in 't Veld from Volt Belgium as its European Spitzenkandidaten.

Volt Europa is currently represented at the European Parliament, as well as a number of national parliaments and several regional and local governments with elected representatives from Italy, Germany, Bulgaria, Portugal, Cyprus and the Netherlands.

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