The Malta Independent 10 December 2018, Monday

MDA wants long-term plan for beautification of Malta

Kevin Schembri Orland Wednesday, 10 October 2018, 16:04 Last update: about 3 months ago

Malta Developers Association (MDA) president Sandro Chetcuti  has called for the creation of a long-term plan for the beautification of Malta, among other things.

He was speaking during a meeting with Opposition Leader Adrian Delia, where he highlighted a number of proposals.

Chetcuti said that the economy is strong, and that there is a fear that some want to stop the strong economic growth. Chetcuti said that the MDA believes Malta must continue working more than before given the economic growth. “God forbid the economic growth slows, as it would mean suicide, not for our members, but for small businesses, those starting a business, and employees who have good working conditions.”

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“Lets keep the momentum going.”

“This is the opportune time to create a long-term plan. We need a long-term plan for the beautification of the country. We are working to promote Malta abroad,” he said.

Mentioning the recent trip to Dubai, he said that they were not there to sell property, as some interpreted it. “Aside from estate agents there were people promoting the IIP, representatives of the MTA and from Malta Enterprise. Together we went with one strong united voice to promote Malta. That was our main aim at the conference. There are now many inquiries and some already called us and are coming from Dubai to look at Malta in detail.”

Chetcuti highlighted the need for foreign nationals to work in Malta, stating that there are many jobs which the Maltese just don’t want to do anymore, finding different jobs instead.

He said that it is true that some people cannot keep up. He said there are genuine cases which need to be addressed, while there are others who need to be motivated. “If we fear moving forward as some might fall back, then the whole country will eventually fall behind.”

He spoke about affordability for the Maltese people. “The Maltese have every right to rent or buy their property as has always happened in the past. The issue of affordability interests us as the MDA a lot. We have proposals in this regard.”

He said that the MDA wants to fight for the common good to be better distributed. He said that government, when making deals, must be well armed to make deals which are in the peoples’ interest.  He said that despite the balance between the two parties, the PN is still a strong party with a strong history who did well for the country.

“If we work hand in hand on relevant issues for the country we will not continue to suffer from rushed decisions.”

In the MDA proposals, he said that the minimum wage must also reflect the progress in the country. One of the proposals, he said, is that for construction workers ready to not just work, but undergo basic needed courses needed to be competent in their subject, be paid 20% more that what is established today. He said that the MDA spoke with all major contractors, and that they are ready to do this.

He also suggested that private landlords who contribute affordable rents for five years or more, with agreed upon prices, should be incentivised. “In this country we need affordable housing, which is different from social housing.”

On another proposal, the MDA president said that it is also willing to create a foundation through a PPP with government, so that adequate apartments which would be rented for €300 to €400 a month. He said that the MDA is not trying to create speculation. He said they are not doing this to try an make a profit off of this. The foundation can be setup by trusted government members if it wants, he said. “What is important is a supply of properties, at least of 60sqm, to be rented to families who cannot keep up with the commercial rent prices.”

Delia, on his part, highlighted that at no point would the PN ever suggest stopping economic growth, but stressed the need for long-term planning.

He highlighted the importance of such a plan for infrastructure reasons, and also to tackle other issues, and plan ahead for the future demographic situation.

He said that Malta is already one of the most densely populated in Europe. “There needs to be a clear direction. You need to know where you want to end up. What does the country need in 20 years, where do we need to be. We need to consider and plan for infrastructure, and transport.”

He said that while people are needed for the development, “we need to see where they will stay and if they will stay long-term.”

Delia also spoke about the environment, and spoke about the need to live in a better environment. We need to see that the environment becomes an economic sector in itself. He mentioned the use of reusable material, and methods of construction and advanced technology which can be used.

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