GRTU has today launched its full set of proposals for the 2017 General Election through its own electoral manifesto. GRTU President Paul Abela stated that its 33 proposals are being presented to the main political parties for inclusion in their own political manifesto as a commitment to be pro-business once they make it to government. Mr Abela noted positively that some of GRTU’s proposals have already been committed to by one side or both sides of the political spectrum.
- Key principles
Amongst the proposals are 5 key principles that GRTU is expecting to see implemented in the next legislature. The first one is that any agreement, falling within the MCESD remit, reached by social partners would be ratified by the government of the day. Another important priority is that the government shall not enter in direct competition with the private sector and shall not put public entities, NGOs and charitable foundations in competition with the private sector. ODZ found on public land is also a key principle with GRTU insisting that with government being the gate-keeper, for no reason should ODZ found on public land be developed. GRTU is also proposing the proper valuation of the price for ODZ not for it to carry a price tag but as an ultimate deterrent.
- The Institutions
GRTU is also proposing revisiting the powers our Prime Ministers have always enjoyed through greater democratization and strengths given to Parliament. This, GRTU believes is important for any government that wants to act according to the principles of good governance and limit chances of political interference. Through its proposals targeting the institutions, GRTU also called for an increase in transparency and fairness within the Planning Authority.
- Legislative amendments
Amongst the other commitments requested by GRTU are a crusade to eradicate unfair competition, a consultation that will lead to an ‘Accountability Bill’ for the civil service, the removal of audit requirements on micro companies, the immediate removal of SISA on tyres, tiles, aluminium, glass and personal care products and the reduction of electricity prices for the commercial sector by 30%.
On the taxation front GRTU has requested the rationalization of taxation whereby the maximum income tax on SMEs would be of 10%, for the 6/7 tax incentive to be reclassified to exclude those economic sectors where we have already reached market stagnation and the removal of the tax on business transfers both before death and after.
- Incentives and Measures
Amongst the incentives proposed by GRTU are and measures to alleviate package delivery costs to encourage eCommerce, the setting up of a Second Chance Foundation to address the stigma on failures and give entrepreneurs a second chance and the setting up of a Retail School to give the opportunity to a significant amount of our workforce skills recognition and the chance to take up a career in retail.