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News • February 22 2004

Where do they stand?

Taxation

John Dalli
Believes in less income tax and less tax on profits. Argues for a shift towards greater emphasis on indirect taxation rather than direct taxation.

Louis Galea
Says that lower taxes will make the country more competitive and will leave people with more money in their pockets. “Of course all of us want to pay less tax - the challenge is to provide the structures and the momentum that will get us there swiftly,” he argues.

Lawrence Gonzi
Believes that who earns the most must pay the most. Level of taxation has to be such that allows government to operate without stifling the economy. Says government would be able to reduce taxation once deficit is brought under control.

Environment

John Dalli
Believes quality of life depends on the environment. Prevention of pollution is a priority. Believes in a culture where individual consumption is better managed and less waste is created. He says solutions for every environmental problem should be found at micro-level.

Louis Galea
Believes the PN is all for providing a better environment, better roads and a better educated country. Believes that co-ordination between ministries needs to be optimised to ensure efficient partnerships between government and people, unions, employers and the whole of civil society. “It's how to achieve this in the swiftest possible time that counts,” he says.

Lawrence Gonzi
Believes the environment has to be higher on the political and national agenda. Main issues concern waste management, closure of Maghtab, the engineered landfill and the reclamation of unused quarries. “It is also important for people to be made aware the environment is their responsibility as much as it is Government’s,” he says.

Women

John Dalli
Believes that women should be given an advantage through quotas of representation. Favours a change in cultural mentality on gender roles through education at a very young age.

Louis Galea
Believes there is still a lot to do both in terms of culture, education and structures that facilitate the full empowerment of women, especially mothers. Says the issue of women participation in the labour market should be one of the top priorities. “I am prepared to discuss any policy and strategy that gives women their full rights and due, including the efficacy of quota representation,” he says.

Lawrence Gonzi
Does not believe in quotas for women and considers such a measure to be insulting. Argues that the number of female students at university has increased without the need to resort to quotas. “There are many other things to do and quotas should only be a measure of last resort. I do not want the country to resign itself and resort to quotas,” he says.

Divorce

John Dalli
Would not initiate a debate on divorce within the party but says his won’t be a leadership that will impose its ideas on people. Believes the debate should start at the grass roots level. “If, in time, there are shifts in the ideas of party members, then debate on any subject should be encouraged,” he says.

Louis Galea
Recognises that divorce is a great concern for some people. Says he will give top priority to the strengthening of family and marriage and the needs of children, women and men who are facing difficulties. “I believe I am quite good at listening, engaging in non-dogmatic discussion, and promoting the common good in the best socially-just and inclusive manner possible,” he says.

Lawrence Gonzi
Does not agree with divorce, but will not stop discussion on any subject. “I am always in favour of discussion because it is an integral part of the formulation of any policy,” he says.

Gay couples

John Dalli
Says his personal position at this point in time is that a couple is made up of a man and woman. “This is the natural couple with the aim of procreation. As for other arrangements these have to be dealt with in a different frame of mind,” he says.

Louis Galea
Says he is not in favour of state recognition for same-sex couples as a family unit.

Lawrence Gonzi
Does not agree with the state recognition of homosexual couples. “One has to take note of the phenomenon and determine the implications but I am not one who would consider homosexual couples on the same level as that of a family,” he says.

Asylum seekers

John Dalli
Favours a hospitable and humane policy without encouraging the promotion of Malta as a destination for asylum. Believes government should help recognised refugees seek integration into Maltese society

Lawrence Gonzi
Considers the issue to be a humanitarian one and argues for a balance between protecting national security and caring for asylum seekers. Favours a detention policy with the gradual introduction of a cut-off date after which individuals would be released to open centres irrespective of whether a decision on their status has been taken or not.

Drugs

John Dalli
Believes in tough action against drug traffickers and drug trafficking.

Louis Galea
Argues for better co-ordination between government agencies and private organisations in dealing with drug addicts.

Lawrence Gonzi
Insists on a relentless fight against drug traffickers and drug trafficking. Calls for more co-ordination between the government drug agency and church agencies. Favours the granting of greater discretion to court judges in handing down sentences on the issue of drug sharing between addicts.

 





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