Memorandum to Political Parties – General Election 2008

Release Date:February 2008
(Verzjonijiet bl-Ingliz u bil-Malti)

 

 

Zminijietna
14/8
Vincenti Buildings, Strait Street, Valletta
Zminijietna@Yahoo.com

Memorandum to Political Parties – General Election 2008

English version:

Zminijietna – Voice of the Left is presenting the following proposals to the political parties in view of the 2008 General Election. Zminijietna’s proposals are built on the principles of equality, social justice and sustainability. These are transitional proposals than can help build a better society.

Economy:  A new Government should urgently introduce measures to reduce the impact of economic burdens which are being felt in Maltese society due to neo-liberal economic policy, privatisation and liberalisation. The Government’s economic policy should bring about growth, stability and equality. Zminijietna is in favour of wealth redistribution, progressive taxation, and policies which defend public services. Such policies should include public investment, and where required, nationalisation of sectors of strategic importance. We also believe in policies which encourage workers cooperatives.
 
Standard of living:
Policies are required through which workers’ income is increased, through fiscal policy and through wage increases (including the minimum wage and work on an hourly basis).

Work: Malta requires legislation and proper enforcement to guarantee the rights and conditions of various categories of workers. Part-time workers, workers on contract, casual workers and workers who are forced to declare their status as self-employed should benefit from the same rights as full-timers on a pro-rata basis. The same should be said regarding private sector workers when compared to public sector workers.
Industrial democracy is also required, so that workers would enjoy rights such as the faculty to join a trade union and to engage in industrial action. The industrial tribunal should be widened in scope, thus also protecting the rights of all public sector workers.
The State should provide proper training facilities for different categories of workers in sectors which are facing problems. Such training should improve workers' skills and respect their dignity, and not impose practices which are alien to workers' experiences. Proper investment in health and safety measures is also required.

Families: Malta requires progressive and inclusive social policy which caters for today’s realities of different forms of families. A process should be initiated whereby divorce is introduced in a responsible manner. Groups different from traditional families should have legal rights as well as obligations towards those with whom they live. Above all, the family – whatever its form – should be protected from economic and social burdens which result from a capitalist society. This is the best way to protect the family, beyond rhetoric.
 
Housing. Malta requires politics which stop property speculation and which result in more affordable prices. This requires – subsidies on loans for first-time buyers and more affordable social housing provided by the state. Property and land speculation should be confronted. We oppose more liberalisation in the housing sector, as this will result in problems and serious difficulties for thousands of families. 

Environment: A new Government should adopt sustainable environmental policies which defends the common good whilst not resulting in more burdens on workers in the form of regressive taxes, unjust surcharges and other measures which increase inequality. Therefore, the provision of energy should remain centrally-planned and state-owned, and should encourage clean, sustainable and affordable methods. Investment in public transport should increase so as to make it more accessible, cheaper and more efficient. The supply of land which permits ODZ development should be revised and reduced. 

Welfare State :. The gains made by the Maltese welfare state should be protected and strengthened, and the welfare state should emphasize equality, social justice, efficiency and sustainability through a universalist model. The welfare state should not only be based on cash benefits – even though these are very important. It should also incorporate education, training, guidance, family-friendly work practices, investment in human resources and encouragement of initiative. The Maltese welfare state also requires investment in accessible childcare centres and flexible working hours as a choice for workers, as these enhance better balance between employment and family. State pensions should be guaranteed and should be equal for everyone by being based on citizenship rather than on previous income. Malta’s national health service policies should not result in a divide between those who can afford private health services and those who do not afford such services. Malta requires politics in favour of equality and against discrimination. Our country should not adopt a neo-liberal welfare system based on workfare and means tests.
 
Education: Investment in education for the most vulnerable groups should increase. Above all, Malta requires a more comprehensive and life-long educational system, to the contrary of the current system which is classist, elitist and based on streaming, thus resulting in many young people – especially from the working class- who end up without qualifications. Malta also requires policies in favour of community involvement in socio-educational activities, thus increasing social capital. 

Conclusion
 
Zminijietna – Voice of the Left appeals for politics which are based on full participation of civil society, where, amongst others, workers’ unions, NGOs, constituted bodies, local councils and academics have an important role in national fora.

Verzjoni bil-Malti:

Elezzjonijiet Generali 2008 Memorandum lill-Partiti Politici
 
Zminijietna – Lehen ix-Xellug qed tipprezenta dawn il-proposti lill-Partiti Politici ghall-Elezzjoni Generali 2008. Il-proposti ta’ Zminijietna huma mibnija fuq il-principji ta’ ugwaljanza, gustizzja socjali u sostenibilta’. Dawn huma proposti transizzjonali li jistghu jwasslu ghal socjeta’ ahjar.
 
Ekonomija: Nishqu il-bzonn urgenti li Gvern gdid idahhal mizuri li jtaffu l-pizijiet ekonomici li qed jinhassu fis-socjeta’ Maltija kagun ta’ politika ekonomika neo-liberali, tal-privatizazzjoni u tal-liberalizazzjoni. Ghalhekk, il-politika ekonomika ta’ Gvern gdid ghandha ggib tkabbir, stabilita’ u ugwaljanza. Zminijietna hija favur ir-ridistribuzzjoni tal-gid, taxxi progressivi, u politika li tiddefendi s-servizzi pubblici. Din il-politika tinkludi investiment pubbliku, u fejn hemm bzonn, nazzjonalizazzjoni f’setturi b’importanza strategika. Nemmnu wkoll f’politika li tinkoraggixxi koperattivi tal-haddiema.
 
Il-livell ta' l-ghixien:
Tinhtieg politika li ggib maghha zieda fid-dhul tal-haddiema, permezz ta’ politika fiskali u permezz ta’ zieda fil-pagi inkluz il-paga minima u x-xoghol bis-siegha

Il-post tax-xoghol: Jinhtiegu ligijiet u enfurzar serju biex jiggarantixxu d-drittijiet u kundizzjonijiet ta’ xoghol lill-kategoriji varji ta' haddiema. Haddiema part-time, kuntrattwali,  kazwali u haddiema li huma mgieghla li jiddikjaraw li jahdmu ghal rashom ghandhom igawdu mill-istess drittijiet pro-rata tal-haddiema full-time. L-istess jinghad ghal-haddiema fis-settur privat meta mqabbla ma’ dawk fis-settur pubbliku. Tinhtieg demokrazija industrijali, biex b’hekk il-haddiema kollha jkollhom il-fakulta’ li jissiehbu f’unjin u jkollhom dritt li jistrajkaw fost drittijiet ohra. It-tribunal industrijali ghandu jitwessa’ sabiex ihares il-haddiema kollha fis-servizz pubbliku.  Tinhtieg ukoll ghajnuna ta’ l-istat u tahrig xieraq ghal kategoriji differenti tal-haddiema f’industriji li qed jiffaccjaw problemi – liema tahrig izid is-sengha u jirrispetta’ d-dinjita’ tal-haddiema, u mhux jimponi prattici li huma aljeni mill-esperjenzi tal-haddiema. Investiment f'rizorsi ghall-infurzar serju dwar is-sahha u sigurta fuq il-post tax-xoghol.

Il-familji:.Tinhtieg politika socjali progressiva u inkussiva li li tiffaccja r-realtajiet ta' llum ta' familji b'forom differenti. Ghandu jibda l-process sabiex f'pajjizna jidhol id-divorzju b'mod responsabbli. Gruppi differenti mill-familja tradizzjonali ikollhom drittijet legali izda wkoll dmirijiet lejn dawk li jghixu maghhom. Fuq kollox, il-familja – hi x’inhi l-forma taghha – ghandha tkun imharsa mill-pizijiet kbar ekonomici u socjali li jirrizultaw minn socjeta iktar kapitalista. Dan hu l-ahjar mod biex tissahhah il-familja, li l’hinn mir-retorika.
 
Il-housing. Tinhtieg politika li twaqqaf l-ispekulazzjoni fil-bini u li twassal ghal prezzijiet iktar affordabbli. Din tirrikjedi - sussidji fuq self ghal xiri ta' l-ewwel dar u iktar housing socjali affordabbli ipprovdut mill-istat. Nesigu li l-ispekulazzjoni tal-bini u l-artijiet għandha tkun imrażżna. Nopponu iktar liberalizmu fi-qasam tal-djar, liema liberalizazzjoni ggib maghha problemi u diffikultajiet serji ghall-eluf ta' familji.
 
L-ambjent: Gvern gdid ghandu  jaddotta politika ambjentali sostenibbli li thares il-gid komuni u fl-istess hin ma titfax iktar pizijiet fuq il-haddiema fil-forom ta’ taxxi rigressivi, 'surcharges' ingusti, u mizuri ohra li jzidu l-inugwaljanza. Ghalhekk, il-provista ta’ l-energija ghandha tibqa’ tkun ippjanata centralment u propjeta’ ta’ l-istat, u ghandha tinkoraggixxi metodi nodfa, sostenibbli u affordabbli; Ghandu jizdied l-investiment fit-trasport pubbliku sabiex dan ikun iktar accessibli, irhas u efficjenti; Ghandha tigi riveduta u mnaqqsa l-art li tippermetti zvilupp‘ODZ’.
 
Il-Welfare State: Il-kisbiet li ghamel pajjizna fil-harisen socjali ghandhom jigu protetti u msahha, u l-welfare state ghandu jenfasizza l-ugwaljanza, l-gustizzja socjali, l-efficjenza u s-sostenibilita' permezz ta’ mudell universalista. Welfare state m'ghandux ifisser biss ghotjiet ta' flus – ghalkemm dawn huma mportanti hafna, izda ghandu jinkorpora wkoll affarijiet bhall-edukazzjoni, tahrig, gwida cara, prattici ta' xoghol favur il-familja, investiment fir-rizorsi umani, u enkoraggament ghall-inizjattiva. Jinhtiegu wkoll: investiment f’oqsma socjali bhac-childcare centres accessibli kif ukoll flessibilita’ b’ghazla tal-haddiem, biex b’hekk ikun hemm bilanc ahjar bejn ix-xoghol u l-familja; Garanzija ta’ penzjoni ta’ l-istat, liema penzjoni tkun ugwali ghal kulhadd u ibbazata fuq ic-cittadinanza u mhux fuq kemm wiehed qala' flus f’hajtu; Politika ta’ sahha li ma twassalx f’qasma bejn min jaffordja s-sahha privata u min le;  Politika favur l-ugwaljanza u kontra d-diskriminazzjoni. Pajjizna m’ghandux jaddotta sistema ta’ welfare neo-liberali ibbazata fuq il-workfare u l-means tests.
 
L-Edukazzjoni:. Ghandu jizdied l-investiment edukattiv ghal dawn gruppi l-iktar vulnerabbli. Fuq kollox, tinhtieg sistema edukattiva iktar komprensiva u tul il-hajja, ghall-kuntrarju tas-sistema prezenti li hi klassista, elitista u ibbazata fuq l-istreaming u li qed twassal biex hafna zghazagh, specjalment mill-klassi tal-haddiema, jispiccaw minghajr kwalifici. Tinhtieg ukoll politika favur l-involviment tal-komunita’ fl-attivitajiet socjo-edukattivi sabiex jizdied il-kapital socjali.
 
Konkluzzjoni
 
Zminijietna – Lehen ix-Xellug tishaq ukoll li f’pajjizna tinhtieg politika ibbazata fuq partecipazzjoni shiha tas-socjeta’ civili, fejn, fost ohrajn, il-unjins tal-haddiema, ghaqdiet non-governattivi, korpi kostitwiti, kunsilli lokali u akkademici ikollhom rwol qawwi fil-fora nazzjonali.

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