Fl-aħħar snin, is-suġġett tal-pensjonijiet intesa xi ftit. Riċentement reġa’ ġie għall-attenzjoni publika – donnu daħal mit-tieqa, mhux mill-bieb.
Iċ-ċirkostanzi m’għadhomx l-istess bħal qabel. Bir-rankatura ekonomika tal-lum, il-kalkoli li kienu jsiru dwar il-futur tal-pensjonijiet forsi jidhru msejsa fuq ideat pessimistiċi.
Pereżempju dwar sostenibbilità, ix-xenarji dwar il-popolazzjoni ta’ Malta u tal-ħaddiema attivi fis-suq tax-xogħol kienu saru b’ċertu mod. Ma jidhirlix li dan seta’ jinkludi kif fl-aħħar snin, żdiedu l-ħaddiema barranin bil-kontribut li qed jagħtu bit-taxxi li jħallsu u l-ġid ekstra li qed jgħinu jinħoloq b’ħidmiethom. Xi tbassir jista’ jsir dwar dil-ħaġa għad-deċennji li ġejja?
Jekk il-mewġa ta’ ħaddiema barranin tibqa’ tiġġedded – anki jekk skont kif jgħidulna, dawn il-ħaddiema ma jibqgħux magħna tul iż-żmien kollu ta’ ħajjithom attiva imma l-aktar għal ftit tas-snin – dak li jikkontribwixxu lill-pajjiż, jaffettwa sew il-kalkoli dwar is-sostenibbiltà tal-pensjonijiet fil-futur.
Il-Parlament Ewropew kien mistenni dil-ġimgħa li japprova żewġ riżoluzzjonjijiet fuq is-CCTB – struttura ta’ kontabbilità dwar kif il-kumpaniji jirrapportaw ir-riżultati finanzjarji tagħhom, li hi maħsuba biex tapplika għall-pajjiżi kollha Ewropej. Biha, suppost li joħroġ ċar fejn u kif qed jagħmlu l-profitti, kumpaniji li jmexxu n-negozji tagħhom f’pajjiżi differenti. Dan jimpedihom milli jaħbu l-profitti billi jgħadduhom minn dan jew dak il-pajjiż u jiffrankaw it-taxxi dovuti minnhom.
Fit-teorija, ma tistax tkun kontra sistema ta’ kontabbiltà bħal din, għax tidher raġonevoli. Sakemm tinduna li l-ħsieb warajha hu li jitlibbes l-istess żarbun lid-ditti kollha kbar jew żgħar, bħala l-ewwel pass li għandu jwassal għat-twaqqif ta’ struttura ta’ taxxi waħdanija fl-Unjoni Ewropea.
Miżura bħal din ixxekkel il-flessibiltà fl-issettjar ta’ taxxi li jeħtieġu pajjiżi bħal Malta – fil-periferija tal-Unjoni u mingħajr l-assi ekonomiċi ewlenin li jipposjedu pajjiżi wisq akbar.
Hu film ieħor kapolavur “mill-qodma” li jitbandal bejn farsa u kummiedja b’ritmu frenetiku. Imtella’ minn Pietro Germi fl-1966, b’kast ta’ atturi mill-aqwa – fosthom Gastone Moschin, Virna Lisi u Nora Ricci – jippreżenta tliet “stejjer” dwar membri tas-soċjetà borgiża fil-belt ta’ Treviso. Minn storja għal storja naraw l-istess nies jgħaddu minn praspar li jikxfu l-medjokrità li jgħixu fiha, l-ipokresija tad-drawwiet soċjali tal-belt u l-avventuri sesswali li bihom jipprovaw iħawru l-ħajja.
Kważi ħadd ma joħroġ bl-unuri imma kulħadd qisu jispiċċa kuntent, inkluż ir-raġel li jkun telaq lil martu, imma jiġi sfurzat imur lura magħha wara li ma jirnexxilux jikkommetti swiċidju.
“Signore, Signori” kien rebaħ il-premju tal-festivall ta’ Cannes, ras imb’ ras ma’ “Un homme et une femme” ta’ Claude Lelouch. Il-film ta’ Germi fih aktar x’tomgħod.
English Version – Sustainability
These past years, pensions were quite forgotten as a policy concern. They have lately come back in the limelight, though it did seem that this happened in a sideways shift rather than because the subject was specifically targeted for attention.
Today’s circumstances hardly resemble yesterday’s. With the ongoing economic momentum, the calculations that used to be made about the future of pensionsmight now appear to be grounded on assumptions that are rather pessimistic.
Take sustainability as a case in point: scenarios about the Maltese population and workers active in the labour market used to be drawn up in a certain manner. It does not seem that this could have included how in recent years, there has occurred such an increase in foreign workers with the contribution they give through the taxes they pay and the output that their efforts are helping to produce. What forecast about this aspect of economic affairs can be made for the next decades?
If the incoming wave of foreign workers continues to be renewed – even though, we are told, these workers do not stay with us for the duration of their active working life, but at most only for a few years – the contribution they make to the island would significantly affect calculations regarding the future sustainability of pensions.
The European Parliament was this week expected to approve two resolutions regarding the CCTB – an accounting system by which companies would have to report their financial results, and which it is intended should be applied in all European countries. On its basis, companies which do business in different countries would supposedly have toshow where and how they are making profits. This would prevent them from hiding profits by channelling them through this or that country and thus avoid paying their tax dues.
In theory, one cannot be against such an accounting system for it seems to be quite reasonable. But thenone has to note how the intention behind it is a one-size-fits-all approach, to be applied to all corporations, big and small, as a first step that would lead to the establishment of a single tax structure in the EU.
Such a measure would restrict the flexibility in setting taxes that is needed by countries like Malta – situated at the periphery of the Union and lacking the leading economic endowments possessed by much larger member states.
It’s another of those “oldstyle” cinema classics which oscillates at a frentic rhythm between farce and comedy. Directed by Pietro Germi in 1966, with a formidable cast (among whom Gastone Moschin, Virna Lisi and Nora Ricci), it presents three “stories” about members of the upper middle class in the town of Treviso. From episode to episode, we watch the adventures of the same people as they reveal to us the mediocrity of their way of life, the hypocrisy of their town’s social customs and the sexual distractions with which they try to spice the events of the day.
At the end, it is difficult to identify anyone who could be called pleasant or respectable among the assembled characters, but they all seem to end up quite happy with their fate – including the husband who having abandoned his wife, is forced to go back to her after having failed in his suicide attempt.
“Signore, Signori” had won first prize at the Cannes film festival ex aequo with Claude Lelouch’s “Un Homme et une Femme”. Germi’s film is the more challenging.