PM: “Discussion not only on earnings but also on balance between work and family”
In a meeting with the social partners organised by the Labour Party, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat stated that today’s discussion focuses on quality of life, adding that although he recognises difficulties exist, he does not wish to exchange them with the problems of the past when the country had a deficit of 250 million euro.
The Prime Minister added that the discussitoday isyis not only on earnings, but on how much time a person spends with the family, and on how a person will balance family needs and financial needs in order to move forward.
Referring to the country’s financial situation, Dr Muscat said the 250 million euro surplus was not achieved through austerity measures but rather, through economic growth, a reduction in taxes and free services like schools trasport and child care.
The Prime Minister declared that the Budget will remain the most important exercise, as problem areas will be tackled through the Budget. Dr Muscat reiterated the commitment to eradicate poverty among children wherever there is a family with at least one person in employment.
At interventions stage, Fondazzjoni Wirt Artna Chairman Mario Farrugia appealed for investment to safeguard the islands’ historic heritage, as the elements are having an adverse impact at some sites.
The Chief Executive of the Foundation for Social Welfare Services, Alfred Grixti, drew attention to the increase in the number of homeless persons and to the challenge of foreign workers who are being exploited.
Others commented on the quality of jobs, high rents, and lack of available funds for couples to be able to pay a deposit in order to be in a position to get a loan for property.
The Prime Minister stated that the reform in the rental market is to be announced this year. Dr Muscat added that it is only natural that economic growth increases the demand for work, and the absence of sufficient Maltese workers has resulted in a large number of foreigners.