Association for Gozitan Employees welcomes Budget initiatives

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Association for Gozitan Employees welcomes Budget initiativesTwo new fiscal incentives mentioned in last Monday’s Budget have been welcomed by the Association for Gozitan Employees working in Malta (AGEM).

In a statement the Association said that it noted with “great satisfaction that the Government pledged to deliver incentives which will help to alleviate some of the hardships faced by Gozitan employees working in Malta.”

“The Government after years of inertia, has recognised and acknowledged the financial hardships faced by Gozitan employees working in Malta with the newly presented incentives,” it said.

The Association referred to the €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.

It explained that “in concrete terms translates into a maximum entitlement of €370 annually per eligible commuter.”

Another initiative welcomed by the Association was that Gozitan employees working in the private sector will for the first time see their ferry expenses be 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,” it said.

According to the Association, “these measures together with the ‘Gozo Workers Subsidy Scheme,’ also mentioned 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.”

The AGEM, thanked the Minister for Gozo, Dr. Justyne Caruana, who, the Association said, “from day one has pledged her support to the Association and what it stand for, and to the Minister for Finance, Profs. Edward Scicluna, for instantly making his intentions clear that the 2019 Budget will cater for the needs of Gozitan employees working in Malta.”

The AGEM went on to say that it understands that there is “no magic wand to solve all problems at once.”

“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,” it added.

“The lack of parking space in the Mgarr Port is one of these, which the Government earmarked to solve by the introduction of a Park and Ride system, which we actively support,” said the AGEM.

“We believe that the time is ripe for this initiative to materialise in the shortest possible time to alleviate the presence of vehicles from the port, which is increasing day by day, and to facilitate parking headaches for daily Gozitan commuters,” it said.

The AGEM concluded that it believes that “this Budget confirmed that through constructive dialogue and collective efforts would lead to fruitful, social just and sustainable achievements for Gozitan employees.”

Photograph by Alain Salvary

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