GWU – Budget will make Malta more competitive

The General Workers Union said that the budget keept everyone’s interests in mind

The GWU welcomed the Budget 2014, describing it as a positive one and one based on true social justice. 

"This budget addressed the necessary measures which needed to be taken in order to safeguard Malta's competitiveness. It did this by incentivising various sectors in society so that they will contribute more towards the country's economic growth," a statement issued by the GWU said. 

The GWU said that it was also very pleased that many of GWU's suggestions were listened to by government. 

The GWU, who had emphasised prior to the Budget how important it was for the Maltese industry, as a whole, to not be burdened with excessive tariffs, praised the government for not introducing extra taxes. 

It also said that it was a very encouraging sign that the government had kept to its promise of reducing the tariffs on water and electricity by 5% and 25% respectively. 

"Such measures will surely leave a positive impact on the standard of living of many workers and pensioners. At the same time, this should leave more money in the hands of people, which can only have a positive effect on the Maltese industry," it said. 

"It is a fact that one of the biggest problems which the industry is facing is the lack of liquidity, which is an effect of the exaggerated tariffs on water and electricity in the past," it said. 

The statement said that, with the new measures in place, the level of employment will likely increase due to the fact that Malta will become even more competitive. 

The GWU urged government, however, to implement more fiscal incentives in the manufacturing sector, saying that this would allow for more investment in that industry. 

Furthermore, it said that there should be more focus on the investment in 'green jobs', stating that it was determined to commit its full participation in the investment and creation of green jobs. 

The GWU also praised government for showing its dedication to the education sector by raising the stipend to reflect the ever-increasing standard of living. It said that this was a means of making entrance to University and MCAST more accessible. 

Moreover, the GWU was pleased at the budgetary measure which allowed for first-time buyers of a property to not have to pay stamp duty on the first €150,000, believing that this would very likely lead to a scenario in which many young people would be tempted to become home-owners. 

The GWU said that the Budget gave much importance to workers, through measures which not only reduced the tax of middle class earners, but also addressed part-time and self-employed workers.

"These are measures which the GWU have always believed in as they affect the largest working group of our society - the middle class," it said.

The GWU also praised government for showing sensitivity towards persons with a disability in its Budget, with measures such as the increase of day-care centres and the increase in monthly allowance. 

"These are all positive measures which would bring peace of mind to the parents of these people, as well as to vulnerable groups in our society," it said. 

The GWU was content, too, with the budgetary measures taken with regard to Gozo. It said that an increase of 8% investment in Gozo from last year was "extremely positive".

It also said that it will keep on pushing for more accessibility between Malta and Gozo so as to help Gozo's economic grow.