TMID Editorial: Budget Day – The Malta Independent



Today is budget day. Finance Minister Clyde Caruana will visit Parliament and unveil the government’s proposed measures for next year.

Over the past few weeks, unions, employers’ organizations, the opposition and others have released their proposals for the budget. Some of these ideas could be taken up, others have already been shot down. For example, Caruana had said that while there would be no new taxes, the government would not remove or reduce taxes either. Thus, the proposals made by the social partners in this regard will not be retained.

The government has already pledged to continue subsidizing energy, which is important because many would suffer financially if it did not. But people will be eagerly waiting to see what’s next and what would be there for them. This year, however, we must take into account the aforementioned subsidy. Thus, we should not wait as much as we normally do. At the same time, the government must seriously monitor the deficit. It will not be an easy budget for Minister Caruana to balance.

This newsroom has written about proposals made by associations and unions in the past, but two particular proposals recently put forward by the UHM – Voice of the Workers and the General Union of Workers recently, deserve study and consideration. more in-depth.

The General Union of Workers asks workers to be able to work 40 hours a week over four days. The union said that if there is an agreement between unions for employees and employers, this should be considered as an option. He also said that if the workplace operated seven days a week, employees would either have the option of working 10 hours a day Monday through Thursday or the option of working 10 hours a day Friday through Sunday. He said those who work from Friday to Sunday will work for thirty hours and will be paid for 40 hours.

Thiss is an interesting proposition that might work in some industries, but not all. For industries he might work in, that would mean employees would have more time to spend with family or rest, which could also mean increased productivity. On the other hand, consideration should also be given to the possible fatigue of working such long hours during working days. That is why it needs to be studied further.

In a separate proposal, the UHM-Voice of Workers said that fAccording to a study, the minimum wage in Malta should increase to 50% of the gross average wage over a period of several years. He argued that currently the minimum wage does not even meet the minimum requirements of the European Union’s Adequate Minimum Wage Directive.

There is a lot to be said for this proposition on both sides of the argument. First of all, it is doubtful that people on minimum wage can live a relaxed life with the prices that exist today. But, raising the minimum wage could cause prices to rise, thus negating the effect. The COLA mechanism tries to equalize inflation, although in the past there have been arguments that it was too low, and this year employers are concerned about its effects. But back to the point. The proposal for an increase in the minimum wage is a proposal that deserves serious study, both in terms of whether people earning such a wage can really live a decent life today, and also in terms of possible consequences of such a decision.

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