Joe Far­ru­gia, Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of the Malta Em­ploy­ers As­so­ci­a­tion

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

“Fun­da­men­tally, what we would like to see is an ori­en­ta­tion that will en­sure that the cur­rent gen­eral pos­i­tive macro-eco­nomic in­di­ca­tors are sus­tain­able. We have also stressed the need to fa­cil­i­tate the pro­cess­ing of visas for third-coun­try na­tion­als that are part of the so­lu­tion of labour sup­ply short­ages, the re-ac­ti­va­tion of in­cen­tives for wider dif­fu­sion of al­ter­na­tive en­ergy, a re­duc­tion of en­ergy costs to en­ter­prise and a plan to mit­i­gate the trans­port prob­lems.”

Mr Far­ru­gia warned that the gov­ern­ment should fo­cus on re­duc­ing the na­tional debt. “Bud­gets should be re­al­is­tic, not gen­er­ous. In many de­vel­oped economies, gov­ern­ment have abused of bud­gets by in­tro­duc­ing un­sus­tain­able pop­ulist mea­sures which have re­sulted in chronic deficits and un­man­age­able debts. The gov­ern­ment should re­main on the path to fis­cal con­sol­i­da­tion to re­duce the debt. In this man­ner, it will be gen­er­ous with the young and fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.”

On traf­fic, the MEA Di­rec­tor Gen­eral says “over-promis­ing” was one of the main is­sues. “Com­muters were promised more than was pos­si­ble when Ar­riva started op­er­at­ing, and the cur­rent Min­is­ter re­spon­si­ble for trans­port also raised ev­ery­one’s ex­pec­ta­tions by com­mit­ting him­self to so­lu­tions which have yet to ma­te­ri­alise. Bet­ter traf­fic man­age­ment, flex­i­ble work ar­range­ments and in­cen­tives for car shar­ing and com­pany trans­port may of­fer par­tial and lim­ited short-term so­lu­tions. How­ever, in the medium to long term, more dras­tic mea­sures will be re­quired to ad­dress this prob­lem, in­clud­ing a change in cul­ture of how we look at pri­vate cars and ma­jor in­fras­truc­tural projects such as a metro to com­ple­ment the cur­rent pub­lic trans­port sys­tem. “

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