Employers seek tax cuts for middle-income families, longer school hours
The Malta Employers Association in Budget proposals today called for income tax cuts for middle-income families with children, and extended school hours 'to cater for working parents with children in primary and secondary schools'.
The MEA said the budget’s major focus should be fiscal consolidation.
"Government has to find ways to reduce expenditure to approach a balanced budget," it said.
Incentives were also needed to encourage more people to work and to encourage mobility.
"Depending on the impact on tax revenue, income tax incentives similar to the ones introduced last year for married couples should be introduced to increase disposable income of families with children earning a medium income," the association said.
Maternity Leave 'should be paid by the state'
On maternity leave, the MEA suggested that payment for all maternity leave should be a state responsibility, with the transition being made over a number of years. Malta, it said, was one of a few countries where employers paid for maternity leave, and this was also creating a disadvantage for women seeking employment.
It said there should be wider dissemination of information about schemes for micro-enterprises. Many small businesses were not aware of the incentives available.
Extension of school opening hours
The MEA said school hours should be extended to cater for working parents with children in primary and secondary schools.
It also argued that childcare should be made affordable to encourage stronger female participation. Government should increase the current incentives to families wanting to avail themselves of child care facilities.
In comments on business in with Libya, the employers' association said there should be a concerted effort between the government and the social partners to establish contacts in Libya. The recent announcement of a campus by MCAST in Misurata was a step in the right direction which needed to be followed up by other initiatives which could be coordinated by Malta Enterprise and the Embassy in Libya.
"Although the political situation is still unstable, Malta still stands to gain from laying the groundwork for economic cooperation between the two countries. Government should allocate the necessary resources to enable such contacts to be established."
The MEA also proposed 'green incentives' for the installation of photovoltaic technology by households and businesses.