The Times, Tuesday, 17th March 2009
Michael Briguglio, spokesman for Social and Economic Development, Alternattiva Demokratika - The Green Party, Sliema
The fact that as an EU member, Malta has won the right to keep charging zero VAT for medicines and foodstuffs is most welcome. This achievement shows that Malta's voice counts on a European level.
In practice, such a move is welcome especially since thousands of workers and families have problems coping with the cost of living.
In this regard, it is pertinent to note that workers in Malta experienced the lowest rises in pay within the EU between the third and fourth quarters of last year.
At the same time, there are other issues which are causing much strain. In this regard, Alternattiva Demokratika reiterates that the government should take up the worthy suggestions of trade unions on the utility bills issue.
Through the European Greens, AD is doing its utmost for a sustainable economy and decent prices. The European Greens recently voted in favour of decreases in VAT rates on various items. The Greens are also pushing for a New Green Deal which can create employment opportunities in manufacturing, services, IT and tourism while being ecologically sustainable. The myriad of employment opportunities in the growing alternative energy sector are a case in point.