Stqarrija Stampa 16.10.2017

Il-Kunsill Nazzjonali taż-Żgħażagħ (KNŻ) jinnota diversi punti pożittivi li ħarġu mid-diskors tal-Ministru tal-Finanzi, l-Onorevoli Professur Edward Scicluna, u l-pubblikazzjoni tad-dokument tal-Budget 2018. Bħala l-korp rappreżentattiv taż-żgħażagħ Maltin u Għawdxin, il-KNŻ ippreżenta numru ta’ proposti lill-Gvern qabel il-budget, u bi pjaċir jinnota li uħud minnhom ġew ukoll effettivament implimentati. Fost dawn l-ideat u mużuri ohra relatati ma’ żgħażagħ, wieħed ta’ min isemmi:
1. L-għotja fuq xiri ta’ roti, roti tal-elettriku u muturi,


2. Iż-żieda fil valur ta’ servizz li taħtu ma jiġix iċċarġjat VAT minn €14,000 għal €20,000,


3. L-estenzjoni tal-iskema tal-first time buyers, kif ukoll l-introduzzjoni ta’ skema ta’ second time buyers,


4.L-introduzzjoni ta’ proġett pilota li permezz tiegħu jiġu offruti servizzi ġodda fil-qasam tal-awtiżmu,


5. Il-ħlasijiet tal-eżamijiet tal-MATSEC imraħħsa bin-nofs,


6. It-tneħħija tat-taxxa fuq id-dħul sa massimu ta’ sentejn għal dawk li jagħmlu kors ta’ Masters jew Dottorat,


7. It-tisħiħ ta’ sapport u assistenza offruta lil żgħażagħ f’postijiet ta’ divertiment,


8. L-għajnuna għal studenti li jkunu qegħdin jagħmlu apprendistat bi ħlas addizzjonali,


9. Is-strateġija nazzjonali għall-qasam tal-volontarjat u


10. Is-simplifikazzjoni u tnaqqis tal-burokrazija żejda bi 30%.


Filwaqt li i-budget kien wieħed b’mod ġenerali pożittiv, il-KNŻ ma jistax ma jirrimarkax u jisħaq fuq il-bżonn, li kull ma jmur qiegħed jikber, ta’ iktar investiment u investiment sostenibbli fil-qasam tat-trasport. Minkejja li fil-budget jissemmew diversi inizzjattivi inkoraġġjanti, dawn żgur li mhumiex biżżejjed biex jaffrontaw l-isfidi li ta’ kuljum jaffaċċjaw iż-żgħażagħ Maltin u Għawdex, b’mod speċjali f’dan iż-żmien tas-sena.

Il-KNŻ jixtieq ukoll jirrimarka l-bżonn ta’ politika ċara fejn jidħol reklutaġġ ta’ edukaturi ġodda, u anke f’dawk li huma sfidi fil-problema ta’ diġitizzazzjoni fis-suq tax-xogħol. Fuq binarju differenti, il-KNŻ jinnota li filwaqt li ġie imħabbar investiment fl-isptar ġdid ġewwa Għawdex, l-awtoritajiet konċernati għandhom jiffukaw l-isforzi tagħhom fuq il-bżonn ta’ iktar investiment f’Għawdex u ħolqien ta’ xogħol f’Għawdex għal żgħazagħ Għawdxin.


Finalment, il-KNŻ jawgura li l-miżuri imħabbra kollha jiġu implimentati u jwiegħed l-għajnuna sħiħa fl-implimentazzjoni tal-miżuri relatati maż-żgħażagħ.

 

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PRESS RELEASE 16.10.2017

KNZ reacts to the 2018 Budget

The National Youth Council (KNŻ) would like to commend a number of positive measures which have been announced by the Minister for Finance, the Honourable Professor Edward Scicluna, forming part of the 2018 budget document. As the body representing Maltese and Gozitan youths, KNŻ had presented a number of proposals to the Government, and welcomes the fact that a number of these proposals have been implemented in the budget document. Amongst these ideas and a number of other measures, we would like to make reference to the following:
1. An increase in grants as incentives to buy bicycles, electronic bicycles and motorcycles,


2. An increase in the non-VAT threshold from €14,000 to €20,000,


3. The extension of the first time buyers’ scheme and an introduction of a second time buyers’ scheme,


4. An introduction of a pilot project aimed at offering new services to people diagnosed with autism,


5. A reduction in MASTEC examination fees by half,


6. A maximum of two years income tax credit given to those who achieve a Masters or Ph.D degree,


7. The strengthening of support and assistance services offered to youths in entertainment establishments,


8. Helping students following an apprenticeship programme by means of additional wages,


9. A national strategy for the voluntary sector and


10. The simplification and reduction of bureaucracy by 30%.


Whilst KNŻ believes that this budget is surely a positive one, KNŻ notes that there is an ever-growing need for further, sustainable investment in the transport sector. Even though this budget includes a number of encouraging initiatives, this is surely insufficient to combat the daily challenges being faced by Maltese and Gozitan youths.

KNŻ would also like to emphasise on the need of a clear policy in the area of recruitment of new teachers and the digitalisation problem within the labour market . On a different note, KNŻ recognises that whilst further investment in the new Gozitan hospital has been announced, the concerned authorities should work towards further general investment in Gozo and the need of increasing job opportunities in Gozo for Gozitan youths.

On a final note, KNŻ expresses its eagerness to see that all the announced measures are implemented and promises its full co-operation in implementing all measures related to youths.

KNŻ welcomes the vote taken tonight in parliament in favour of marriage equality. The Maltese Society has moved on to grant everyone equal rights before the law, which is beneficial to all members of our society irrespective of their gender and/or sexual orientation.

It is also in this spirit that KNŻ encourages the relevant authorities to keep educating our youths on the various realities of our society, and it is with such education that we can move forward, and become a truly inclusive society.

This year marks an important year for the National Youth Council, as we will be celebrating our 25th anniversary.

For this reason, we are inviting our member organizations, former executive members of the Council and friends to join us in the celebrations which will be held to mark the day. We will be at Q-Zins, db San Antonio Hotel and Spa in St. Paul's Bay on 21st October. Doors will open from 8pm onward and the event is scheduled to start at 8.15pm. Dress code is smart and attendance is strictly by invite. However, there are a number of limited places left, so if you'd like to join us, send an email to Jasmine Farrugia on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to get your invite.

The National Youth Council of Malta (KNZ) wishes to express its disappointment towards the fact that youths between the ages of 16 and 17 years of age would not be given the right to vote in this upcoming general election.

KNZ reignited the Vote 16 debate last September, where a motion was also tabled into parliament to attempt to give youths this right. The motion was publicly supported by all youth and student political organisations. (ADZ, FŻL, MZPN, Pulse u SDM).

It's high time our politicians showed true, tangible faith in our country's youth, instead of embellishing them with empty words.

The National Youth Council joins in celebrating International Youth Day, which in 2017 is dedicated to "Youth Building Peace". As a council, we are celebrating the youth's role in conflict prevention and transformation, as well as their role in inclusion, social justice and sustainable peace. In this regard, KNZ shall be organising a nation-wide campaign on the topic of hate speech, in order to further educate both the nation's youths and the general public on the topic, whilst raising awareness and helping in the prevention of hate crime and hate speech.

On a national level, KNZ shall continue to insist that our youths should be granted the right to vote in all elections and referendums, a right which was unfortunately denied to them during the past spring hunting referendum and the past general election. Youths have a fundamental role to play in the democratic process, and such a re should not be limited to just local council elections, but should be extended to all general elections and referenda. A motion was already tabled before the country went to polls, and the council would like this motion debated in parliament and in order to allow youths to participate in the next MEP and general elections. Furthermore, we insist that civic education should be introduced to our curricula through formal and non-formal education.

Last but definitely not least, we would like to invite both youth and the general public to join us in the upcoming Technology and Innovation Fair, which shall take place on Sunday 20th August from 5pm onwards in Pjazza San Gorg, Valletta.

The National Youth Council together with its member organisations agree that the minimum wage should be increased. The increase in the minimum wage should be paid by the government for the first five years, so as not to negatively impact the employers until they adjust to the increase, the KNŻ and its member organisations have recommended. After the five years have elapsed, private business owners can provide the difference between the current wage and the increase.

The National Youth Council encourages unions, employers and the government to step up their efforts so as to reach an agreement on the amount by which the minimum wage should increase.

The National Youth Council and its member organisations are therefore joining the call which was put forward by other organisations, activists and political parties who have called on for an increase in the minimum wage so as to reflect today's needs and  ensure that everyone is paid an adequate amount for work performed.

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