Fabian Demicoli

GRTU Publicly Announces Budget Proposals And Strategy For 2012

 GRTU Director General Vincent Farrugia has today publicly presented GRTU's proposals and strategy for Budget 2012. Mr Farrugia gave an introduction stating what the Maltese economy needs to do with a set of proposals aim at reducing public deficit, increase productivity, use resources which are unutilised, increase capital investment and make the economy grow. GRTU presented proposals covering different aspects:

 

Encourage capital investment in the infrastructure

  • Create new opportunities for investment in the harbours, manufacturing, logistics operations, green jobs, environmental projects and in areas related to the knowledge based economy.

New Investment in the small enterprise sector

  • Small Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme

– 50,000,000 fund, Special project bonds, Only for loan guarantees, To facilitate additional commercial lending, repayable over 3 months – 10 years

In support of Localities

  • Back office work
  • Re-utilise buildings

– Tax incentives and grants for more office space, Specialised homes for the elderly, Lodging of tourists

In support of Localities: Valletta

  • Revision of the CVA
  • Parking

– Elimination of parking reserved for Parliamentarians; Change green to more blue and blue to more white parking spaces

  • Special tax reduction for Valletta based businesses

Families and young couples

  • Property tax holiday for the purchases of properties by home owners and young families
  • Special loan guarantee to cover up to 50% of the security requested

Reducing private debt

  • Cause financial institutions and other credit awarding facilities to promote a reduction in the costs of credit to households

Recruitment Assistance

  • Most ETC schemes are bureaucratic in their implementation and reimbursement procedure
  • EU nationals employed on a temporary bases are immediately registered and would suffer a 15-20% reduction in wage as payment on income tax and social contribution

Increasing female participation in the labour market

  • Child care benefits should be extended to cover child minding in a home setting
  • Revise child care centre standards which are making it impossible for anyone to set up a child care centre
  • Tax credit scheme extended to women who need elderly care workers to assist in care of dependents

Better Packaging Directive Enforcement

  • Setting up of a Producer Responsibility Enforcement Committee with the direct involvement of Authorised Schemes

Implementation of the WEEE Directive

  • Implementation would mean a reduction in €8m in Government revenue but also placing an onus on producers to work with authorised schemes

Creation of Green Jobs

  • ETC/MCAST should set up courses free of charge
  • When fiscal incentive to entrepreneurs in favour of the green economy are put in place it is imp the workers to affect the relevant trades are available
  • Regeneration of vacant property a guarantee of demand for Green Jobs
  • Stamp duty reduction on purchases of property vacant for more than 5 yrs to be regenerated in line with the EPB Directive

Improving energy efficiency

  • Carry out swift assessment of the untapped potential in terms of energy efficiency in industry, to be able to draw up further relevant measures
  • Fund for loans to improve energy efficiency: Capital purchases of equipment only; Unsecured, interest free, repayable over 5 years; Up to 50,000

Lower emissions

  • Standard Pas 2050 for businesses to be able to carry out a Carbon Reduction Label, leading to valuable energy and cost saving opportunities to businesses
  • Grant to study the possibility of a logistical distribution centre for goods in Valletta, Sliema, Hamrun
  • Drop registration tax on powered two wheel vehicles not exceeding 250cc

Utility services

  • Enemalta should provide a price tariff that would cover one year and two years of consumption
  • Introduce a 10% price reduction if bill is prepaid on an average use for the last two years
  • 50% reduction for three phase applications if it is an SME employing more than 1 person within its first year or expanding operations
  • 50% reduction on three phase and single phase meters rents
  • Rent of the water meter for SMEs should be totally abolished and water rate per cubic meter increased so that users pay according to the use

Waste management strategy

  • Extension of an exemption for reduced rates of payment for first registration of waste management vehicles that are installed with a built in weighing facilities
  • The devolution of WasteServ MRF Operations to Private Industry for those waste streams that are catered for by Private Industry. This includes the operation and running of the MRF Facility at present. This will be the first step towards the privatisation of WasteServ Malta Limited

Level Playing field

  • Better monitoring of what products enter the Maltese market for a commercial purpose
  • Creation of an enforcement authority under the newly established consolidated VAT, Customs and Inland Revenue, responsible to ensure a fair and level playing field

Pension Reform

  • Rise in retirement age and revisable every 5 years according to set formula
  • Encourage flexible retirement
  • Creation of a National Pensions fund

– Supported by means: profits of state investments, privatisation, Government assets, etc…

– Directly linked to the individual

– A basic pension and an additional set of higher priced options

– Administered by board of trustees and direct Government responsibility, not private

– Same rules governing private enterprise

Extending the POYC

  • Public Private Partnership with pharmacy owners and incentives to build new modern primary health care services

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