Thursday, 27 November 2014

Budget 2015: Żminijietna’s reaction.

“Budget 2015 includes a variety of measures to strenghten the economy, but it lacks a progressive and social vision”, stated Żminijietna – Voice of the Left    
“Though Żminijietna agrees with various measures to assist low income families and to increase the rate of employment, Żminijietna does not support measures that stigmatise all persons who rely on social benefits”.
“Government failed to introduce progressive policies, such as an increase in the minimum wage. Also Zminijietna insist that the one-off bonus for workers earning less than €20,000 should also be given in full to those workers who solely depend on a part-time job. NSO statistics show that the majority of part-time workers are women”.
“Measures to address precauriousness, such as the elimination of the community work scheme is positive. Zminijietna welcomes the fact these workers will be employed on a 40hr week with the minimum wage".   
“With regards to the environment, progressive measures to promote green economy are missing, such as the creation of green jobs, investment in renewable energy and more public open spaces”.
“Government should hold back from privatising community health centers, as this could lead to a fee charge for using the service”.
Żminijietna – Voice of the Left also notes that the budget is weak in progressive taxation. Measures, such as the the lowering of the income tax rate for the well-off threatens the sustainability of the welfare state. This could also create a situation were social and educational benefits are reduced.    
“On the other hand, Żminijietna welcomes measures that benefit persons with disabilities, the widening of maternity leave, and an increase in social benefits for those on low income”.

Press Release 27/11/14

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

International Day to eliminate violence against women and girls.

Żminijietna - Voice of the Left states that “violence is a human rights’ violation which impede women’s access to gender equality; progress towards health, education, and protective work. 25th November 2015 will mark the 20 years commemoration of the Beijing Platform for Action.
Żminijietna said that “since the Beijing Declaration, two thirds of the countries in the world including Malta have implemented campaigns, put laws and took actions to stop violence. It is estimated that 1 in 3 women around the world have experienced physical or sexual violence, mostly by their intimate partners. Around 120 million girls have been forced into intercourse or other sexual acts at some time in their lives. Further on, more than 700 million women alive today were married as children”.
Żminijietna added that “the establishment of the Sexual Assault Response Team at the Mater Dei Hospital and the ratification of the Istanbul Convention were a step forward to combat violence against women and towards achieving gender equality. Also we welcome the amendments to the Criminal Code that came into force in 2014 that prohibit female genital mutilation in Malta”.
“Additionally, more training, educational campaigns and services should be implemented in order to educate and address the needs of the perpetrator. The campaigns against violence should be strengthened with more funding to increase services and legal protections”.

Press Release 24/11/14

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Cautious Budget

Żminijietna - Voice of the Left views the budget as cautious. Social inequality in the distribution of wealth still remains unaddressed.
“On the other hand, Zminijietna accepts the various positive measures which address precariousness, incentives for persons with disabilities, and social benefits for families with minimum income".
Żminijietna - Voice of the Left will comment in more detail on the budget further on.
Press Release 17/11/14

Monday, 10 November 2014

800,000 sign petition against TTIP

Social Europe - Front Against TTIP (Malta) announced that the European Citizen's self-organised initiative against TTIP, comprising 230 organisations in 21 European countries has so far collected more than 800,000 signatures.   

 "The TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) being negotiated between the EU and the US risks lowering standards such as workers' rights, environmental protection and food safety. Secrecy on what is being discussed is not helping matters".

"TTIP controversially includes a so-called investor-state dispute settlement mechanism that would enable multi-national companies to sue nation states in a special court - the Investor-State Settlement Dispute (ISDS). This would give much less power to democratically-elected governments".

Social Europe - Front Against TTIP (Malta) urges the Maltese Government to review its position on the matter, thus acting in the interests of citizens, workers and consumers.

We urge the general public to sign the ECI now to help stop the TTIP on
Social Europe - Front Against TTIP (Malta) comprises: Żminijietna - Voice of the Left; Anti-Poverty Alliance; Moviment Graffitti; Association of Federative Socialists; GWU Youth, ADZ – Green Youths; Friends of the Earth Malta; Partit Komunista Malti; Garden of Knowledge (Malta) and Malta Organic Agriculture Movement.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Exam Fees: Żminijietna urges Government to revise MATSEC prices

Żminijietna – Voice of the Left is highly concerned with the increase announced recently in the Examination fees. This regressive measure will badly affect low income families. This measure will increase social inequality.

Żminijietna said that "it seems that this anti-social measure, for an increase in the examination fees is the direct consequence of the reduction in the tax rate of 35%. Żminijietna had actually predicted that the reduction in taxation would lead to a reduction in the educational funds eligible to run these services".

Żminijietna – Voice of the Left appeals to the Government to revise its policy on MATSEC prices. At the same time Żminijietna insists that the Government should reintroduce the 35% income tax rate, so that public services would remain sustainable.

Press Release 5/11/14

Monday, 3 November 2014

“Practices of Social Dumping should be addressed” - Żminijietna

Żminijietna – Voice of the Left welcome the decision taken by the authorities to investigate if a Chinese-owned clothing firm operating in Malta is involved in the exploitation of Chinese workers and human trafficking.
“The Government should legislate and enforce regulations against social dumping especially where labour standards do not comply with the minimum requirements adopted in Malta”.
Żminijietna – Voice of the Left appeals also to the Trade Unions to join forces to eradicate any practices of social dumping in other sectors of the labour market.

Press Release 30/10/14