All social partners have urged government to commit to the necessity and importance of what they defined as “effective” and “genuine” social dialogue towards the formulation and implementation of social and economic policy.
In an eight-page common position paper compiled by economist Gordon Cordina after a series of detailed consultations with the CMTU; GRTU; GWU; the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry; MEA; MHRA and UHM, all have reiterated their emphasis on the need for “genuine dialogue” and consensus also at political level, to enable the undertaking of measures towards the national interest.
The document, which has garnered consensus between all the social partners, has been submitted to MCESD Chairman Sonny Portelli, who is expected to present it to government in the next Council meeting scheduled for next week.
In a nutshell, the exercise is intended to present a common front and avoid a repeat of last year’s fiasco at MCESD level, when government went ahead with the introduction of revised utility tariffs that were backdated to October 2008 rather than introduced in January 2009 against the recommendations made by all social partners.
The position paper, revealed in detail by this newspaper, provides input towards the undertaking of tripartite discussions in the context of the formulation of the next Budget, and sets out an opinion on the current state of the economy and a strategic direction for the future socio-economic development of Malta based on seven key priority issues currently facing economic policy.
These are: the control of price inflation; the award of COLA for 2009 within a wider discussion on measures required to sustain competitiveness; the improvement of human resources; the sustainability and efficiency of fiscal activities; the sustainability of social welfare programmes; better regulation and governance; and sectoral approaches towards the achievement of competitiveness objectives.