AGEM on Bud­get 2018/2019

The Malta Business Weekly - - NEWS -

The As­so­ci­a­tion for Goz­i­tan Em­ploy­ees work­ing in Malta (AGEM) no­ti­fies with great sat­is­fac­tion that in the Bud­get gov­ern­ment pledged to de­liver two new fis­cal in­cen­tives, which will help to al­le­vi­ate some of the hard­ships faced by Goz­i­tan em­ploy­ees work­ing in Malta.

Af­ter years of in­er­tia, gov­ern­ment con­cretely recog­nised and ac­knowl­edged the fi­nan­cial hard­ships faced by Goz­i­tan em­ploy­ees work­ing in Malta.

The newly pre­sented in­cen­tives in­clude: 1. A €1.50 daily al­lowance to pub­lic sec­tor Goz­i­tan em­ploy­ees work­ing in Malta who make use of col­lec­tive modes of trans­port to get to their place of work, which in con­crete terms trans­lates into a max­i­mum en­ti­tle­ment of €370 an­nu­ally per el­i­gi­ble com­muter; and 2. Goz­i­tan em­ploy­ees work­ing in the pri­vate sec­tor will for the first time see their ferry ex­penses fully cov­ered at a pas­sen­ger’s rate (ex­clud­ing ve­hi­cle costs). In real terms, the mea­sure trans­lates into a max­i­mum en­ti­tle­ment of €288 an­nu­ally per el­i­gi­ble com­muter. These mea­sures to­gether with the Gozo Work­ers Sub­sidy Scheme, as also clearly in­di­cated by AGEM in its pre-Bud­get con­sul­ta­tion doc­u­ment, will not only al­le­vi­ate Goz­i­tan work­ers fi­nan­cially but will also help to re­duce the ever-in­creas­ing amount of cars on Mal­tese roads.

AGEM, there­fore, would like to of­fer its sin­cere grat­i­tude to the Min­is­ter for Gozo, Dr Justyne Caru­ana, who from day one pledged her sup­port to the as­so­ci­a­tion and what it stands for and to the Min­is­ter for Fi­nance, Prof. Ed­ward Sci­cluna, for in­stantly mak­ing his in­ten­tions clear that the 2019 Bud­get will cater for the needs of Goz­i­tan em­ploy­ees work­ing in Malta.

AGEM un­der­stands that there is no magic wand to solve all prob­lems at once. The as­so­ci­a­tion no­ti­fies that fi­nan­cial bur­dens are not the only neg­a­tive fac­tors faced by Goz­i­tan work­ers and hence there still is a lot that needs to be done to fully ad­dress Goz­i­tan work­ers’ daily hard­ships and prob­lems.

One of the lat­ter is surely the lack of park­ing space in the Mgarr Port, which gov­ern­ment ear­marked to solve by the in­tro­duc­tion of a Park and Ride sys­tem, which AGEM ac­tively sup­ports. The as­so­ci­a­tion, there­fore, be­lieves that the time is ripe for this ini­tia­tive to ma­te­ri­alise in the short­est time pos­si­ble to al­le­vi­ate the pres­ence of ve­hi­cles from the port, which is on a con­tin­u­ous rise and to fa­cil­i­tate park­ing headaches for daily Goz­i­tan com­muters.

Fi­nally, AGEM (af­ter a mere one year from its ex­is­tence) be­lieves that this Bud­get con­firms that, through con­struc­tive di­a­logue and col­lec­tive ef­forts, it will lead to fruit­ful, so­cial just and sus­tain­able achieve­ments for Goz­i­tan em­ploy­ees.

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