Universal basic income can be financed by tax on market speculators, AD says

Greens call for UBI and living wage financed by taxes on market speculators, fossil fuel polluters and tax-evading multinationals

Green Party Alternattiva Demokratika has said that a universal income and living wage should be introduced in Malta and every EU country to be financed by “fair taxes” on market speculators, fossil fuel polluters and tax-evading multinationals.

AD proposed a 12-point plan on Malta’s economy future based on “social, economic and environmental resilience” for the post-COVID era.

AD said every company, especially large financial services firms, that receive public assistance should be obliged to make concrete changes to their operations to become carbon neutral and achieve climate change targets meant to cap temperature increases at 1.5 degrees Celsius.

It said every assistance given to companies should be tied to an obligation to change the company’s operations in such a way as to not harm the environment, with a clear commitment to protect jobs and ensure equal pay for equal work irrespective of gender. 

Companies which hide their profits offshore to avoid paying taxes should not benefit from public assistance. 

AD also said Malta should stop basing part of its GDP on tax avoidance and evasion, which AD said was “an attack on the basic principle of solidarity”.

The COVID-19 crisis had shown that smart working was a workable concept for both private and public sector workers, AD said, saying that this should be encouraged to reduce pollution and pressure on public transport, as well as increasing the public’s quality of life.

It also proposed government bonds to finance 65% cuts to carbon emissions by 2040 and a 2050 zero emissions target, together with renewable energy.

AD said it had repeatedly proposed car-reduction, advocating a Bus Rapid Transit system and increased pedestrianisation in village cores and town centres instead. The ultimate aim is that the use of petrol and diesel would be stopped entirely.

Sustainable tourism meant that the numbers of beds available should decrease to a sustainable level, AD said and transition job training for current workers in this sector to other “dignified work” provided.

“Public funds and lands should not be handed out to tourism projects which eventually end up in the hands of property speculators. A tax on empty properties was also proposed, to encourage renting.”

“The digital revolution if regulated and used well, is important in the building of a resilient society,” AD said, as had been proven by the COVID-19 crisis. Malta and the EU needed to build a European digital ecosystem, built on open source technology and independent of the financial interests of American colossuses.

“Malta’s climate change targets should no longer be minimal, but the new post-COVID economic model should be based on respect to nature, the earth and each other,” said AD, saying whoever makes excuses not to invest as necessary and not to have polluters pay is irresponsible.

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