An important theme for the GRTU is the Locality. What we refer to by Locality is the Local Council area together with adjacent localities. We are the only national organization that has a strong presence in all of the localities in Malta and Gozo and this is why we the give utmost importance to economic activities in the localities.
"Minister Austin Gatt said that on the issue of capping of electricity bills, for the 78 selected large firms, Enemalta is revenue neutral. This really means that all other Enterprise owners, small and medium, are paying a hidden tariff of 10% on their electricity and water bills to cover for Enemalta's deficit. It is neutral to Government but negative to all our members, it is also negative to all families.
GRTU, as a national representative of the self-employed and small businesses in our country, as well as a promoter of a vast number of proposals and suggestions for the strengthening of enterprises, prefers to convey its proposals in the format of a Manifesto on behalf of small enterprises. GRTU's Manifesto is adjourned each year specifically to meet annual Government Budget targets.
GRTU's proposals are prepared in full and continuous consultation with our members and are continually updated in accordance to current issues, Governmental proposals as well as economic and social circumstances that come up from time to time. This is done in the context of Malta's membership in the European Union and within the framework of the EU Acquis Communautaire.
Our proposals are not targeted for implementation in one single year but are meant to be achieved within a framework of 3 to 4 years. The proposals we present here are aimed specifically at the 2009 Budget.
Immediately after the proposals for the new Utility Tariffs were made public GRTU worked around the clock to make a counter proposal and yesterday during a press conference even published a mitigation plan.
The basic flow in the proposal is the grand figure of €415m that is to be received from these tariffs. This because €104m are already being received by Government from excise duties on fuels. For this and several other reasons the €415m figure is unacceptable and must be reduced. GRTU is therefore pleased to hear that Government if reviewing the proposal seriously.
The European Commission has welcomed the support of the European Parliament for its proposal to simplify the approval of hydrogen powered vehicles. This will mark a step forward in the development and marketing of clean and safe hydrogen vehicles.
As a result, they will be seen more often on Europe's streets and the European automotive industry could become more competitive by taking the lead in hydrogen technology.