Forum Unions Maltin gives its initial reactions to Budget 2018

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A master plan for the holistic embellishment of Xlendi and Marsalforn is being drawn up.  Seismic investigations on the Malta-Gozo are still being carried out as the government moves on with its plan to create a permanent link between the two islands.The confederation Forum Unions Maltin has issued its initial reaction on tonight’s Budget, saying that it feels that over all this is a positive Budget in many aspects that reflects the economic improvements experienced by the country in recent months.

It went on to say that it “is pleased to note that the surplus was not a one off achievement but appears to be turning into a steady situation, which gives Malta a stronger economic standing and potential for improvement and investment.”

ForUM said that it acknowledges the improvement in the vacation leave entitlement for workers, however it recommended that the government “continues working to give back the public holidays falling on weekends in their entirety. It added that that “these were taken away on the excuse of a poor economy.”

“The government should start driving towards the abolition of pension capping and give the option to workers to pay the full NI and get the full pension. Moreover further incentives for secure third pillar pensions would be welcome,” stated ForUM.

ForUM also asked that Parliament consider fast tracking the permanent link to Gozo. It remarked that “Gozo is suffering from a demographic decline and economic impairment despite all the efforts being taken.”

“There needs to be a solid long-term plan to attract the best professionals in the fields of education and health and to retain the current professionals. Government must do its utmost to make key careers in education and health more attractive than other careers with the same level of education,” it said.

ForUM went on to laud the government’s efforts to improve the status of both educators and nurses and believes that now it is time for long term plans that span over 15 or 20 years.

It added that it believes that “the government must think outside the box and introduce a flexible system within the civil service.”

ForUM concluded by saying that solar farms and waste management projects are a very welcome development and should be further encouraged.

Photograph: DOI/Jason Borg

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