100 Ideas: From flexible work to prioritising families over traffic

More flexible working arrangements, a national discussion on children’s homework, a new Gozo masterplan and prioritising children and families over traffic are just four of Partit Laburista’s “100 Ideas”.

Based on 10 different themes, the 100 Ideas document, seen by TheJournal.mt is the result of 11 months of discussions and is set for official launch by Partit Laburista tomorrow.

Speaking to TheJournal.mt, Partit Laburista Deputy Leader Daniel Micallef said that this is not a minefesto. “This is a policy soul-searching exercise whereby the Party marked its 100th anniversary by revisiting its foundations; its core principles – within today’s context and challenges. ‘What we stand for’ is a recurring question we must continuously ask, and answer,” said Micallef.

The past 11 months have brought together hundreds of people from all walks of life, whilst hundreds of meeting were carried out with individuals and stakeholders. The pandemic did set back the exercise by a couple of months – but now we feel it is time to move forward.

‘What we stand for’ is a recurring question we must continuously ask, and answer – Daniel Micallef

Micallef said that today is not the end of a process, but the beginning of the next phase. In fact, a number of discussions are being proposed which the Labour Party intends to pursue further. “The document will be launched tomorrow for further internal discussions, stakeholder outreach and public debate. Our aim as the party in government is to continue regenerating ourselves whilst being a main and distinct stakeholder in the policy fora of the country,” said Micallef.

Under the “A society where everyone moves forward” theme, the document refers to the promotion of flexible working arrangements that increase the quality time of workers with their families, including remote working, tax incentives and other measures that benefit both the worker and the employer.

On Education, a national discussion on homework reform and children’s leisure is being proposed. This, together with an education system that encourages critical and analytical thinking, and provides space and resources for research.

“We must provide the best educational experience to children with a curriculum that promotes creativity, civic involvement, balance and responsibility in the use of technology, sport and mental wellbeing from an early age.”

This vision includes the strengthening of education against racism, homophobia and other forms of discrimination and hatred, as well as the promotion of sports and physical activity, healthy lifestyle and mental health.

Partit Laburista is also pledging a new Gozo masterplan which balances economic performance, leisure facilities, and the social and environmental aspects, including plans for strategic areas such as Mġarr and Victoria.

Under the Environment and the Common Good theme, the document refers to “a transformation of urban spaces based on the concept of green cities, with the introduction of green spaces, gardens and permanent pedestrian spaces, with underground parking facilities. Children and families are given priority over traffic.”

PL believes that Malta’s ambition to become carbon neutral should not only be an environmental priority, but a key pillar of our country’s future economy. Electrification of the vehicle fleet and means of transport, including mass transport should be a priority on the country’s agenda, along with much more energy-efficient new buildings in order to meet the climate goals.

Other proposals include the further expansion of health services for transgender people, more tools for NGO activism within society, a citizen remedy for the abuse of Parliamentary Privilege, and a national discussion on the current electoral system.

The ten themes chosen by Labour are:

  • A Fair Distribution of Wealth
  • A society where everyone moves forward
  • Environment & the common good
  • The future of our children
  • Our health
  • Malta’s democratic framework
  • Equality
  • Gozo
  • Malta’s role in the Mediterranean, Europe and the world 
  • Stronger Local Councils
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