Sa nofs April il-Gvern Malti jrid jissottometti lill-Kummissjoni Ewropea Programm Nazzjonali ta’ Riforma, it-tieni wieħed minn meta kienet varata l-istrateġija “Ewropa 2020“. Għalhekk kien iccirkolat l-abbozz ta’ dan il-Programm bħala dokument ta’ konsultazzjoni.
L-assocjazzjoni bagħtet it-tweġibiet tagħha għat-tlett mistoqsijiet f’din il-konsultazzjoni:
Q1.: Do you have any comments on the proposed measures?
A.: As Maltese expatriates who still make use of Maltese public services, we particularly welcome the Next Generation e-Government framework (sec. 3.1.7) with the possibility of accessing services anywhere in the EU. Additional points on this initiative:
(a) we believe that this initiative should not only be limited to “passive” information services but should also include services offered against payment (i.e. payment would be made online though credit card or SEPA bank transfer).
(b) the service need not be limited to the EU, it should also include, at least, EEA/Switzerland to cover the entire single market and the Single Europea Payment Area (SEPA).
(c) there should be some form of control to actively verify the accuracy of information given by Government websites since, sometimes, these are not regularly updated and may feature information which is incorrect.
(d) the option should also be offered so that payments made by the Government (e.g. tax arrears, pensions, etc.) can be made to any SEPA bank account instead of by cheque which causes a number of practical difficulties to Maltese living abroad.
Q2.: Is there any particular measure that you would like to see featured? How does this measure contribute to the achievement of the NRP targets and objectives?
A.: Serious consideration should be given to the abolishion of cheques as has already happened in most EU and SEPA countries with payments for public or commercial services being made through bank transfer. This measure would contribute to the NRP objective of fostering competitiveness. In 2004 it was claimed that the processing of a cheque cost no less than €2.50 involving 14 manual and 9 postal transactions (see here). In all likelihood, the cost has gone up since. There are also hidden costs which need to be factored in, including cheques which bounce and greater risk of fraud. Cheques can also present a barrier to cross-border payments including for Maltese expats living in the SEPA.
Q3.: Do you have any comments on the Euro Plus Pact measures?
A.: On the Euro Plus Pact measures please see answer to Q1.
Il-kummenti kienu konsistenti mal-manifest tal-assocjazzjoni maħruġ f’Dicembru 2010.