Saturday, 14 December 2013

Green Economy - Żminijietna calls for a social and ecological model

  In relation to Government's call for proposals in relation to policies related to the Green economy, Żminijietna - Voice of the Left called for a social and ecological model which can result in more sustainability.
The proposals which Żminijietna submitted to the Government include, amongst others, having holistic policy making which gives priority to environmental and social aspects apart from economic ones, and ongoing consultation with different civil-society stakeholders.
Fiscal measures, funding and simplified administrative procedures should encourage investment and research in the green economy, and the restructuring of transport policy and of industries such as construction should be in line with sustainable goals.
Żminijietna added that adaptation to climate change should be a national priority, as should preventive health and green procurement.
Such policies can result in green jobs at various levels, but it should be ensured that these are not precarious. Besides, irregular migrants can be integrated in the labour market through state-managed initiatives for a better environment

Press Release - 12 December 2013

Monday, 9 December 2013

Disability week - Żminijietna calls for social justice

  Żminijietna - Voice of the Left said that disability week should make us aware that social justice is required to ensure accessibility, inclusion and participation of persons with disability.
"Government, local councils, and both the public and private sectors should ensure that accessibility, inclusion and participation are key policy goals with regard to person with disability, as recommended by the National Commission of Disabled Persons (KNDP). For this to take place, social justice is required, as this gives priority to equality".
"Policies such as an increase in the disability pension are required to avoid situations of poverty, and awareness of different forms of disability is essential to have comprehensive policy making".
"Policy making for persons with disability should not only be about accessible pavements - which in itself is very important - but also about ensuring equality in all spheres of life".

Press Release 6-12-13

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

“IVF Treatment should be accessible to all”– Żminijietna

  Żminijietna – Voice of the Left considers unjust the government’s policy on IVF. Low income families will not be able to make use of this treatment due to incurred costs involved in the hormone stimulation treatment. Single persons and same-sex couples are discriminately excluded from this service.  
“We urge the government to revise this policy and make this treatment completely free and egalitarian, whereby same sex couples and single persons will be eligible for this treatment.
“This service should also be characterized by stricter regulations to ensure there are no abuses,” concluded Zminijietna.

Press Release 4th December 2013

Friday, 29 November 2013

Environmental protest: Żminijietna supports the struggle for a better environment

Żminijietna - Voice of the Left supports the protest against environmental destruction organized by various Environmental non-governmental organisations (ENGOs) this Saturday 30th November.
"It is positive that various organisations have joined together in this struggle against overdevelopment, which is increasing pollution, decreasing open areas and having negative impacts on health and ecology. People's quality of life should not be monopolized by big business and neo-liberal policy-making".
"Broad alliances, which were more common in previous years, should be the way forward to ensure a strong front to protect the environment from unsustainable development," stated Żminijietna - Voice of the Left.
"The environment is a political issue which requires radical change to ensure ecological sustainability and environmental justice. Capitalist economies and neo-liberal policies are the main causes of environmental destruction and social inequality, reflected in issues such as overdevelopment, resource depletion and climate change". 

Press Release 26 November 2013

Monday, 25 November 2013

Portomaso approval shows urgent need for MEPA Reform - Żminijietna

"The decision taken by MEPA's new appeals board to approve the development in Portomaso for the building of 46 new bungalows goes contrary to MEPA's original conditions when it approved the original Portomaso development proposal in 1996. This condition stipulated that the area in question should remain untouched. The new appeals board also disregarded the 2012 decision of the MEPA board to disallow such development", stated Żminijietna - Voice of the Left.

"This confirms that MEPA is more orientated towards a policy of unsustainable development, instead of generating a policy for ecological sustainability and social development. This development will further increase the built up area density in the center of Malta, with related problems such as pollution and traffic".

"The appointment of a new appeals board by the Government raises questions as to why this board was appointed in the first place".

Żminijietna appeals for a holistic reform that will safeguard not just the countryside outside the development zone, but also other open spaces in urban areas. MEPA should promote environmental sustainability, rather than acting in the short-term interests of big-business.

Press Release 24 November 2013

Monday, 11 November 2013

Reaction to Budget 2014

Żminijietna – Voice of the Left said that “Whilst various social measures of Budget 2014 are positive, on the other hand it is unclear whether Government’s socially regressive tax policy is sustainable to maintain egalitarian and universal public services”
“Free child-care centres, incentives for more people to enter the labour market, tax benefits for first time buyers, and increase in social benefits for persons with disability and others with severe conditions are beneficial, though it is disappointing to see that services such as IVF will not be universally accessible”.
“With regard to education and employment, Żminijietna welcomes the increase in public investment in education and for the strengthening of the stipends system. We insist for specific legislation against precariousness, as otherwise, policies which aim to make work pay can reach a dead-end if there are not enough decent and stable jobs. An increase in the minimum wage can make work pay act as an incentive for more persons to enter the labour market and have a better quality of life".
“In relation to energy, Żminijietna supports in principle the proposed reduction in energy prices. Strategically, however, the budget fails in renewable energy, in sustainable water policies and in the creation of green jobs. A shift to renewable energy is essential for energy sustainability”.

“Government’s determination to reduce income tax rate for the well-off is regressive and can put the financial sustainability of the welfare state in danger. This is even more worrying when Malta requires massive state investment in pensions, as the majority of workers cannot afford third-pillar private pensions. A socially just society with universal public services requires socially just revenue measures to enhance the redistribution of wealth”. 

Press Release 10 November 2013

Friday, 1 November 2013

Budget 2014 should aim for social and environmental justice

- Żminijietna

Żminijietna – Voice of the Left said, “that Budget 2014 should aim for social and environmental justice, by among other measures should reduce inequalities existing in Maltese society”.

“Public services such as health and education, social and ecological policies need sustainable financial backing. While we agree that government should incentivise job creation in various sectors of the economy, government should re-introduce the 35% maximum tax rate to be able to finance the welfare state. Malta’s tax rate is amongst the lowest in the European Union”.  

“We demand an increase in the minimum wage, which will cover also part-time work and work on definite contracts. With regards definite work contract, government should introduce fiscal measures to make such work more expensive than regular employment. This will lead to more social justice and an employment environment beneficial to economic growth”.

“Subsidies on basic services, such as gas should be re-introduced. We declare the need for more investment in renewable energy and to ensure the use of public buildings for the installation of photovoltaic panels to service neighboring homes that don’t have the space or facilities to put up these installations. This will have the benefit of increasing green jobs”. 

“Regarding COLA, Żminijietna insists that this should be reformed to reflect the real cost of living, as must all social benefits. Government should create community centers to ensure independent living for the disabled and other vulnerable groups. Social cases having social benefits should not lose these benefits if they find employment and earn more, even fractionally than the minimum wage”.  

“Inclusive policies will result in more female participation in the labour market, and this applies also to minorities like ex prisoners and first time offenders. Free child care centers must be provided, and government should introduce family-friendly measures to balance work with the parental responsibilities and leisure time. Private sector should be included in this scheme”.

“Clear mechanisms must be created to set the rates of pay. Maximum wage should be introduced in the public sector to strengthen equality and prevent astronomical wages in certain grades”.

“To increase public finances we insist that government introduce special taxation on windfall profits in the banking, financial and gaming industries. Vacant properties can be taxed, while the war against tax evasion must be strengthened. Eco-taxes must be made to work against all who damage the environment”.

“The state must not abandon its responsibility to ensure decent and affordable social housing for the most vulnerable sector of the population”.

Żminijietna reiterates that “the government priorities the question of pensions and ensure a state pension providing a decent and dignified standard of living for the old age population”. 

Press Release 1 November 2013

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Citizenship applications should not be discriminatory - Żminijietna

“The right for Maltese citizenship should remain based on a person's sense of belonging and contribution towards society, and not on ability to pay”, stressed Żminijietna - Voice of the Left.

“The government’s proposal to sell Maltese citizenship to foreign millionaires discriminates on a class basis and strengthens the concept of free market neo-liberal capitalism, which is based on social injustice”.

“Moreover, the State should remain fully responsible for the administration of applications for citizenship, with clearly defined and transparent criteria".

Press Release 31 October 2013

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Support for residents protesting against overdevelopment

Żminijietna - Voice of the Left expressed its support for the upcoming protest (30 October) organised by residents in Balzan, Lija and Attard against overdevelopment in these localities.
"It is positive that residents organize themselves against overdevelopment in localities, which is increasing pollution, decreasing open areas and having negative impacts on health and the environment".
"Broad alliances, which were more common in previous years, should be set up to ensure a strong front to protect the environment from unsustainable development".

Press Release 29 October 2013