Press Release by the Ministry for Social Justice and Solidarity, the Family and Children’s Rights: A Government with a social ethos which has never stopped supporting families and their advancement.
Reference Number: PR210897
The family is at the centre of the Government’s vision and work in the coming years. This is why year after year, family benefits have continued to be bolstered while necessary reforms have been carried out so that all types of family are recognised.
This was the message delivered in the press conference addressed by the Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister, Minister Carmelo Abela and the Minister for Social Justice and Solidarity, the Family and Children’s Rights Michael Falzon with regards to the implementation family measures in the electoral manifesto during the week celebrating International Families Day.
This press conference clearly demonstrated the Government’s stance that it was, is and shall always be the voice of the Maltese and Gozitan families. If proof of this was ever needed, it was evident by the commitment demonstrated through these last months of the pandemic when the Government undertook additional burdens to save jobs and remove the unnecessary pressure felt by families.
Minister Falzon said that families are the building blocks of society and he insisted that every type of family, without any distinction, is important. Minister Falzon said that 93% of measures falling under his Ministry have been implemented throughout the past four years as part of the 2017-2022 electoral manifesto. These are good results and a reflection of the Government’s endeavours which were achieved through work targeting mainly families through measures which included benefits and pension reforms.
The Minister also mentioned children’s allowance which was increased for the first time in 11 years and in other cases for the first time in 23 years, as well as the child bonus of €300 for each newborn or adopted child, all this throughout the pandemic year.
“We did not only proceed according to what was proposed in the electoral manifesto. We were pro-active and we also granted additional benefits to those whose employment was negatively affected. We assisted each family because we believe in social solidarity. We continued to promote social inclusion while ensuring that nobody fell behind, and we had positive results in poverty reduction and social exclusion” Minister Falzon said.
Minister Michael Falzon also added that the Maltese people are among the most optimistic and this continues to energise the Government to carry out more social welfare for all families to enjoy.
The Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister, Minister Carmelo Abela said that the Government’s electoral manifesto includes over 79 measures in favour of the family, 63 of which have been completely implemented. This means that 80% of measures related to the family have been implemented. In the planning stages of the manifesto, the Government had from the very first instance given priority to poverty reduction and placed the strengthening of the family at the forefront.
Among the implemented measures there are the removal of the payments of the MATSEC and SEC exams which removed the burden on low-income families along with an increase of €100 in the student’s annual grant. School transport is now free and Gozitan students have begun to benefit from a new rental scheme for when they rent property in Malta throughout their studies. Other important measures which grant the opportunity to both parents to be more active in their employment is that of free childcare and the tax reduction for those who make use of private childcare centres. Moreover, a free service for IVF is now being offered. Public holidays which fell on weekends have been given back to workers so that can be days of rest for parents but also to grant them the opportunity to gather as a family and enjoy each other’s company.
Minister Abela said that these achievements have driven further the efforts and work to improve the lives of Maltese and Gozitan families. Their financial position shall be strengthened so that they will be assured a more decent life and better opportunities for their children.
“The International Day of Families, finds us determined to continue to bolster the social heart of the Government towards families and the strong will we have to strengthen that important societal nucleus which is the family”, stated Minister Carmelo Abela.