AD welcomes the launch of Green Paper aimed at reducing poverty
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Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party said that it welcomes the Green Paper which has just been launched by the Ministry for the Family and Social Solidarity with the aim of reducing poverty reduction and social exclusion but calls for concrete measures including a revision of the minimum wage.
Robert Callus, AD Spokesperson for Social Policy, said, “Alternattiva has repeatedly expressed its concern with regards to the rise in poverty and material deprivation rates, through calls for concrete policy initiatives to assist vulnerable groups and to promote greater social justice. It has also been the only party which has repeatedly called for a rise in the minimum wage as a tangible measure to combat in-work poverty, to make work pay and encourage greater active inclusion.”
He pointed out that “despite its comprehensive analysis of the poverty situation within the local context, the Green Paper presents nothing really new in terms of pragmatic initiatives, since a substantial number of the measures presented as policy options concern actions which have already been launched under previous strategies such as the National Reform Programme and the Budget for 2014.
“Once again the Government has not committed itself to revising the minimum wage, which is keeping hundreds of families in poverty.”
Arnold Cassola, AD Chairperson, said, “AD believes that for any strategy to be successful, targets need not only be ambitious but also realistic. Given the incremental increase in poverty rates in the last number of years, it is questionable whether Malta will be reaching its modest Europe 2020 target set by the previous administration of lifting 6,500 people out of poverty and social exclusion by 2020, let alone lifting 22,000 people by 2015 as is now being proposed by Government.”
“Therefore while we support the objectives of the Green Paper, we hope that it will be translated into clear political commitment to combat poverty and social exclusion through the setting of realistic targets and concrete policy initiatives grounded on the values of social justice,” Arnold Cassola concluded.