The Malta Independent 3 December 2021, Friday

Securing a better future

Monday, 22 November 2021, 08:48 Last update: about 10 days ago

Ivan Castillo

The proposals being presented almost everyday by the Nationalist Party lay the foundations of an alternative government that cares and listens.

Our proposals are not just buzz words. Our proposals are the result of ongoing discussions with different people from all walks of life. Our proposals are the result of hours of listening carefully to those directly involved and affected and who have the common good at heart.

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We did not wait for the general election to propose ways to improve the wellbeing of our people. We have already seen proposals which, after being heavily criticised and shot down by the Labour Party, were adopted days later.

Just to mention a few: the government vouchers during the Covid pandemic; the increase in payment for the generation of electricity from solar panels; the revision of the electricity bill calculations; the metro proposal.

We believe in securing a sustainable economic growth that will last long and that will benefit future generations. That is what we have done every time the Maltese electorate has entrusted us with the management of this country.

That’s why we are proposing a 25% increase in stipends for students who will follow courses which are vital for our country’s economy. We will also increase the salaries of our teachers and we will hand out €14 million in bonuses to all frontliners as an appreciation for their hard work and dedication.

Where business is concerned, we are proposing a VAT exemption of up to €60,000, thus heavily reducing bureaucracy. The Nationalist Party will also extend the 25% tax bracket from €60,000 to €80,000 and have VAT rate of 7% on restaurants and hotels. We will introduce practical measures to help businesses in importation and exportation.

We will invest heavily in Research and Development and will help those involved through a tax exemption on the first €1 million investment.

We will encourage youths to travel abroad to broaden their cultural perspectives by helping them through a €500 voucher.

Having a holistic approach, we believe in work-life balance. We will secure 2 weeks paid paternity leave applicable also to adoptive parents. Such a proposal, which was already adopted in other European countries, was also discussed with the employers. We will also introduce an 8-week paternal leave. These measures will not be a burden on the employer.

During such paternal, maternity, or adoptive leave, we are proposing the Keep in Touch measure, allowing parents the right to work between 10 and 20 days with pay. We will also implement measures to safeguard pregnant women at their place of work.

Another family-friendly measure will be the temporal flexibility which will allow employees a reasonable amount of flexibility in terms of when to start or finish their working day. Another related measure will be the spatial flexibility, which will allow all employees to work through a hybrid system, alternating between home and their place of work as agreed with the employer.

We are also proposing the construction of a state of the art 400-bed general hospital in Gozo, the introduction of two brand-new ships, one of which will be for commercial use, and we will transform Gozo into an activity hub, making our sister island a tourism destination on its own.

We are also committed to ensuring that all injustices related to work and pensions are corrected. For example, ex Enemalta and Telemalta employees who were employed with government owned entities pre-1979 are to be given the Treasury pension, which was kept from them by previous governments.

We are also committed and are looking into issues where workers who were employed by companies that where government  owned, but were sold off, such as Malta Casino, to ensure they get what they deserve. No one is to be left out! We will ensure that injustices suffered by ex Air Malta employees who where denied both Early and Voluntary  retirement  scheme’s for no reason, but were given to other employees with the same conditions of work, are corrected.

But more than all else we must have policies, laws and procedures in place to ensure that such injustices are not suffered by anyone else.

In the coming weeks, we will propose more significant measures as to how we will improve the quality of life of all the Maltese and Gozitan citizens.

Our aim is to distribute wealth fairly and improve your living conditions irrespective of your income. Not everyone had the opportunity to be employed as a person of trust under the Labour administration. Not all businessmen were awarded direct contracts worth millions. Not all students were employed with ministries even before obtaining their warrant. We will eradicate institutionalised corruption and rebuild Malta’s reputation.

These measures will help secure a better, sustainable future for the citizens of these islands. Let’s be part of the change our country desperately needs.

 

 Ivan Castillo, PN candidate on the 12th District 



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