Dr Vassallo calls for an investment in quality time for families
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Speaking at a press walkabout accompanied by friends and family, Alternattiva Demokratika Chairperson Dr Harry Vassallo, said that instead of bickering over overtime tax and the impoverishment of family life, the other parties should invest in quality time for the family. “It is vital that Malta begins to respect the family in fact and not only in words.” He said.
“Among our coalition priorities we have been careful to include the extension of maternity leave from the present 13 weeks to 26” Dr Vassallo said. “In the first weeks of life every child needs the loving care particularly of its mother and it should be our priority as a nation to ensure that this is not denied to the newborn because of the employment terms or financial situation of its parents,” Dr Vassallo added.
“Malta presently has the shortest period of maternity leave in Europe,” Dr Vassallo said. “It is not enough to talk in favour of the family, words should produce practical results.”
“In order to make such an extension of maternity leave a reality without placing a burden on employers and thus prejudice the employment of familymakers, the leave extension will be covered from public funds with a flat rate weekly payment of 166 euro” Dr Vassallo said.
“As with every other proposal which implies the use of public money, we have costed this measure and have found that it is well within our means. Over 3000 families will benefit from this measure each year.” Dr Vassallo said. “It is easily possible and the outgoing government could have done it alone, years ago. While other parties are openly promising the impossible AD points out together we will do what has always been possible and which has been left undone,” Dr Vassallo said.
“If the other parties would like us to show them how this can be done, we are perfectly happy to show them. We are not afraid of being copied. In fact we have always been copied and as recently as the last budget when the government adopted our proposals to assist families with children,” Dr Vassallo said. “In a coalition government we will be able to make all our ideas available to all Maltese families and without the delay it has taken to so far.”
“In government Alternattiva Demokratika will begin from the beginning and insist on a better quality of life from the first day that a child is born with measures we can easily afford,” Dr Vassallo concluded.