From firstname.lastname@example.org Fri Nov 22 13:30:19 2002
Date: Wed, 20 Nov 2002 15:14:58 -0600 (CST)
From: Larry Fletcher <email@example.com>
Subject: (MALTA) AD's Budget Proposals
Valletta, MALTA (di-ve news)—Alternattiva Demokratika—the Green Party believes that there should be less taxes on income and economic inititiative. On the other hand taxation on activities and products harming the environment and wasting our limited resources should be increased. Therefore AD is calling on the government to make a shift in its fiscal policy.
Thousands of honest, responsible and hard working people are feeling stifled by the fiscal policies of the present government. On the other hand we will not join the populist band wagon by opposing every new tax. While government expenditure should be rationalised, we are also aware that government expenditure is mostly composed of wages and social services. Therefore any drastic cuts in government expenditure will have negative social repercussions.
For us, taxation is one of the measures, which the state can use to promote sustainable development in a modern and open economy where the private sector has an important role. In the light of this holistic vision AD is making a number of concrete economic and fiscal proposals. These include:
1. AD believes that the public sector should be streamlined in a way that it will continue to attract qualified and motivated personnel and a professional management. Retraining programmes at all levels of the public sector should be strengthened to ensure that all public sector workers are engaged in productive work and where necessary to encourage workers to join the ranks of the private sector.
2. Companies and businesses involved in sustainable economic activities like recycling, the sale and importation of eco friendly products, the provision of eco friendly transport services and those companies whose premises use alternative energy, should benefit from tax incentives. The government should help such business activities through consultancy services and fiscal incentives.
3. Companies involved in environmentally harmful activities should pay more taxes to compensate for the environmental damage resulting from these activities. There should be a special tax on products and economic activities, which create waste.
4. VAT on products, which harm the environment, should be higher than 15% while VAT on eco friendly products should be lower than the present rate. The VAT on restaurants should be reduced to 10%. This will have a positive impact on the tourist industry.
5. The non-taxable tax ceiling should increase to LM 4000 for singles and LM 5000 for married couples. The LM3000 limit on part time work, which is taxed at the fixed rate of 15%, should be increased to LM4000.
Alternattiva Demokratika is also calling on the government to give priority to social inclusion in the next budget. Social inclusion should be aimed at integrating socially excluded groups. AD is presenting a number of concrete proposals in this sector. These include:
1. A public/private partnership aimed at setting up day care centres for children whose parents work. This measure will enable more women to participate in the economy.
2. A national campaign to address the digital divide to ensure to ensure universal access to the world wide net which is a valuable tool for everyone in a modern society.
3. The removal of anomalies in our pension system and clear guidelines for a pension reform through which a national pension fund, administrated by the Malta Council for Economic and Social Development and a professional management would be set up. Pensioners should enjoy full compensation for cost of living increases.
These proposals form part of The Green Party's manifesto which contains 445 responsible and creative proposals. After the next elections, AD will use its voice in parliament to give a breath of fresh air to the Maltese economy.