Social bank, living wage, rent capping - Alleanza Kontra l-Faqar release pre-budget proposals

Among the proposals is the creation of a bank to help people become the owners of their home and the introduction of a living wage based on concrete definitions

AKF argue that Living Income must be introduced to protect pensioners and recipients of social benefits
AKF argue that Living Income must be introduced to protect pensioners and recipients of social benefits

Anti-poverty alliance Alleanza Kontra l-Faqar (AKF) have made a number of proposals for the 2019 budget.

Among the proposals is the creation of a social bank to help people become the owners of their home and the introduction of a living wage based on concrete definitions. These definitions should include what a living wage is, what a decent life is and what objects will be used to index the living wage.

AKF also argued that a system of Living Income must be introduced to allow pensioners and persons on social benefits to have a guarantee of a decent life.

The alliance proposed a revision of the price index mechanism to reflect inflation on essential items such as food and rent in a more realistic manner.

Among the more innovative suggestions is the granting of tax rebates and compensation to landlords who bind themselves not to increase their rent for 10 years, in order to stabilise the rental market.

A legal framework to regulate private rentals, establishing the maximum ceiling for rent prices and length of rental is vital, said the organisation. “Habitation is a fundamental right and therefore the market should not be allowed to determine the price of housing.”
Investment in social and affordable housing should be made with an emphasis on including community spaces to foster a community spirit, it said.

Other proposals include the introduction of a clear definition of precarious work to eradicate it for good and the banning the introduction of zero hour contracts which “remove dignity from the workplace.” Work contracts must be based on 40 hour working weeks, said the alliance.

It also advocated the granting of free access to childcare to vulnerable families and the creation of a fund to help local councils and NGOs to involve themselves in social work with vulnerable people in the locality.

The AKF also demanded an amendment to the Employment and Industrial Relations Act which currently allows foreign workers on ships berthed in Malta to be paid far below the minimum wage in Malta.

 

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