Friday 11 January 2013 - 10:52
The Association of Hospitality Executives (MAHE) welcomed national debate on energy but warned against risks of dependance on gas as only source of energy.
Reductions in the running expenses of all hospitality properties will directly translate into the net profit of all companies - MAHE
The Malta Association of Hospitality executives (MAHE) welcomed the developing national debate on energy, and expressed its appreciation that the cost of utilities, a vital component in the cost of hospitality, is now being addressed by all political parties. "The MAHE welcomes the proposed reduction in electricity rates being proposed by the Labour Party, while also appreciating the fact that Prime Minister, as reported from Germany, stated that the Nationalist Party manifesto will also address lowering the utility rates," MAHE said.
MAHE president Charles Martin said that "such reductions in the running expenses of all hospitality properties will directly translate into the net profit of all companies." A positive impact on the profitability would make the industry more sustainable, while it will also have a positive effect on the available spending power of each household with a possible effect of more trade generated to hotels and restaurants, increasing the multiplier effect of such a move.
The association said that it approves any initiatives that will directly help in securing the livelihood of all employees working in the hospitality industry.
"We augur that as a consequence of such profitability, this will be translated into better employees' working conditions and an upgrade of tangible standards in all our properties. We also augur that this would also lead to much desired training to all employees working in the industry as this would lead to a higher quality service for all our patrons," Martin said.
MAHE said that while endorsing the use of gas to fire the power station, it was concerned should Malta depend only on just one supply source. The association called for alternative supplies to guarantee Malta's electricity generation.
"Basing our supply just through the proposed gas pipeline with Europe, could prove very costly not just for the hospitality industry but to the nation as a whole," the association said, adding that their concerns arise from what had happened a few years back between Russia and Ukraine when the gas pipeline to Europe was closed with such consequences for the European citizens.
"We augur that the generation of power in the country is treated in a non-partisan manner so that we will have the best possible solution for the benefit of the Maltese nation."
Saturday 12 January 2013 - 00:00
Employers, developers and other businesses had welcomed the Labour Party’s energy proposal before the Nationalist Party exposed it as a gimmick, Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi said yesterday.
The Malta Employers’ Association, the Malta Association of Hospitality Executives and the Malta Developers’ Association have all welcomed the PL’s long-awaited plan to reduce water and electricity bills.
But Dr Gonzi yesterday said they did so before they were made aware that the proposal, which Labour claimed would cost about €360 million, would in fact cost €600 million.
“The taxpayer will have to pay, bills will increase, industry will crumble and jobs will be put at risk,” Dr Gonzi said, as he replied to questions by journalists during a visit to a tomato farm in Mġarr. Dr Gonzi, accompanied by various MPs, toured the greenhouse of farmers Charles and Joseph Muscat who benefited from EU funds.
Journalists steered away from the subject of farming and took the opportunity to ask questions about the PL energy proposals. He insisted it was vital for the PL to publish the full report. Labour’s consultants had indicated that opting for the gas pipeline, proposed by the Government, was cheaper than the PL’s proposal to build another gas-fired power station and gas-holding facility in Delimara. Yet Labour insisted on the more expensive option, he said.
“What is their interest in choosing a project that will result in more expensive electricity? So far the campaign must have cost about €1 million. Where is the money coming from?” he asked.
After the tour, and a lesson on the challenges of farming, Dr Gonzi addressed journalists and spoke about the importance of farming and fishing as “pillars of the economy”. He said his Government had invested €80 million in the sector over the past eight years and a further €100 million had been allocated by the EU. The Government was in the process of negotiating more EU funding. The Government also helped farmers by reducing the amount of national insurance they owed and changing regulations on the transfer of land.