Fabian Demicoli

Promises are made to be kept

GRTU proudly stated back in November 2009 that Budget 2010 represented a great achievement for GRTU and a turn point in the history of Budgets, as for the fist time a Budget included measures that would relieve micro and small enterprises from the excessive burdens that stifle them and hold them back from expanding. Measures that were particularly vital during a time of economic recession.

 

If Malta today is fairing better then other members of the European Union during the turbulent time of recession, this is due to Government's effective measures, but also, and more importantly, because of the efforts and the sacrifices of thousands of business owners. The smaller employers could have done what the larger employers did, simply discharge people or place workers of 3-4 day weeks.

Led by GRTU micro business owners took the pain upon themselves and held fast. Indeed employment in micro enterprises, rather than diminishing, increased. Small business owners accepted GRTU's lead to hold steady and not panic in mid stream. GRTU leaders were confident that Government and the whole state bureaucracy would appreciate the economic burden the self employed and owners of micro-enterprises were carrying to guarantee that Malta will not be buried under the avalanche of bad economic situations in Europe and elsewhere.

"Budget 2010 promised a lot but is delivering very little. GRTU does not accept excuses. For every hurdle there is a solution." Vince Farrugia, DG, GRTU

We do not accept the unscrupulous delays in the implementation of the micro-credit scheme. We do not accept the cruel delays in the implementation of the Reserve fund for Assisting Enterprise with temporary difficulties arising especially from higher electricity bills. These schemes were aimed to help the liquidity problems of firms during the period of economic recession. This was the medicine that small business owners needed as they ailed under the burden of economic recession.

GRTU also fails to understand why the promised cheques to families burdened by the new electricity billing never arrived. This was a measure aimed to support consumer spending. There are other measures in the budget that still await implementation

"Is it a coincidence that most of the measures that still need to be implemented are those that were geared towards the support of the self employed and micro enterprises? Is it possible that in spite of all the promises and nice words, that SMEs are the backbone of the Maltese economy, that many in power still do not believe what they say? For us promises are made to be kept. The medicine is needed when the patient is in pain. Thousands of small business owners are in pain now. I urge the PM to ensure that those responsible for implementation be made to act with more urgency." concluded Vince Farrugia, Director General, GRTU.

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