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21 November 2023
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A minimum budget for decent living – GRTU submitted its position paper to MCESD on Caritas Malta study – A minimum budget for decent living with the following points:
1. GRTU has no objection to the budgetary survey conducted by Caritas and identifying the expenditure requirements of vulnerable families and individuals. Indeed GRTU is in favour of constantly identifying expenditure needs of this sector for policy makers to be able to devise productive and sustainable means to allow vulnerable individuals to have the necessary income.
2. GRTU however disagrees with the findings of the report because it fails to clearly identify the sources of income of the selected individuals and families. Conclusions can only be matched correctly if the income side is also properly assessed. Individuals and families have incomes that vary dependent on the income potential reflecting whether there is one income earner and what kind of social assistance package beyond medical assistance and fuel support individuals and families may qualify for.
3. GRTU disagrees with the recommendations of the report especially the increase in the minimum wage and all other recommendations which in effect mean increase in public expenditure and not increase in support of schemes to improve the employability and income generating capacity of the unemployed and low income receivers.
4. GRTU objects strongly to further unsustainable increases in public expenditure and only supports expenditure in schemes that do not further burden employers with increased bureaucracy and increased financial burdens. GRTU as a fundamental principle contends that it is the obligation of employers to provide a decent income to employees according to the labour input provided and not according to the individual or family needs of the worker. The responsibility to cater for the individual or family needs first and foremost is the responsibility of all able bodied individuals and secondly of the state. It is the responsibility of the state to provide all means so that all able bodied individuals of working age can become employable within their specific trainable skills potential and GRTU supports all schemes that ensure that Malta gets the benefit of the maximum productivity of the largest number.
5. In this particular phase of our economic development GRTU objects to any further burdens on employers. Indeed GRTU contends that many smaller enterprises represented by GRTU cannot at this particular stage face additional burdens and argues that an increasing number of small independent self-employed individuals are themselves within the bracket of vulnerable individuals and the solution GRTU seeks is further economic growth potential schemes that enable more people to be productively engaged and economically active. Extending the welfare gap at this particular stage is not only economically and fiscally wrong but is also a threat to the vulnerable sectors as it leads to the damping of economic prospects and prospects for new investment and innovation, which is the greatest threat to economic stagnation.
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