The Malta Independent 14 April 2024, Sunday
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Government safeguarding quality of life while ensuring private sector remains competitive

Wednesday, 26 November 2014, 16:49 Last update: about 10 years ago

The Government's Budget for 2015 will improve the standard of living enjoyed by Maltese families, while also ensuring that the private sector remains competitive in order to generate more employment.

Minister for Finance Prof. Edward Scicluna and Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Business Dr. Chris Cardona visited the premises of the World Aviation Group and met with management and staff. They were accompanied by World Aviation Group Deputy Managing Director Mr. Anthony Cassar, and CEO Ms. Nadia Pace.

The World Aviation Group is located at the Aviation Centre, Luqa. The World Aviation Group is comprised of three different operations: Centrecom, BPO Services, and Aviation Online. The company employs over 250 employees, approximately 60% (180) of who are female.

The World Aviation Group provides back-office administration, including call centre services to various local and international private and public entities.

Speaking following the tour of the premises, Minister for Finance Prof. Edward Scicluna noted that the company's presence in Malta shows that the local businesses can compete in the international business arena.

He added that the 2015 Budget contains various measures which positively affect the private sector, including operators such as the World Aviation Group, while also implementing reforms that will facilitate access to work and support lower-income workers.

Prof. Scicluna noted that the maternity leave measure introduced in the budget will ensure that employers are not discouraged from employing more female workers, as the cost of financing the maternity leave would now be spread out over the whole of the private sector.

He noted that this measure will also mean that the Government is removing the obstacles that are currently encountered by women seeking work, as the cost of financing maternity leave previously represented a considerable drawback for employers.

Prof. Scicluna also noted that at the same time, the Government is ensuring that families and workers benefit from a good standard of living. This is due to Budget 2015 measures whereby income tax for those in higher-to-middle income was reduced, and also the In-Work Benefits measure, whereby lower-income families who benefited from €35 one-time bonus on top of the €30 COLA adjustment, would also receive a €1,000 allowance per child.

Referring to the €35 one-time bonus adjustment, the Minister noted that the government took up the responsibly of shouldering the cost, and chose not to postpone the increase, as had happened in the past, where a higher COLA increase was granted, only for it to be deducted from the COLA increase of the following year.

"We did not do this as we know that private enterprise must remain competitive as to keep on generating employment. Our manufacturing and services industries have the full backing of the Government," Prof. Scicluna said.

In his own address, Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Business Dr. Chris Cardona said that the Budget 2015 will continue to reinforce cooperation between the Government and the private sector, prioritizing education and training so as to strengthen the economy.

Minister Cardona mentioned measures such as the Employability Index, which he described as one of the ways in which Government can ensure that the supply of quality employment that is being created can be met with adequate human resources.

"We need to ensure that our youth are prepared to enter the workforce in those sectors which we are managing to attract towards Malta," Cardona said.

Minister Cardona also spoke about the Government's ongoing efforts to foster an economic climate which is well-suited to business, and underlined that the Government is not indifferent to the requests and concerns of the private sector, but is responding to them quickly.

He referred to the Government's initiatives pertaining to the reduction of energy tariffs for businesses, Ecotax, on unfair competition, on consumers' spending power, and also on the stability of fuel prices.

Both Minister Scicluna and Minister Cardona expressed satisfaction at the successes being achieved by the World Aviation Group and other local and foreign operations that are helping the economy grow.



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