The Labour Party unveiled its electoral manifesto for the 2022 general election on Friday, making its pledges public during a general conference led by party leader Robert Abela. 

Running to 288 pages in length and featuring a mammoth 1,000 points split into 20 thematic chapters, the manifesto is one of the longest political documents in local electoral history.

By way of comparison, the party’s 2017 manifesto ran to 176 pages. That manifesto, like this one, was released on the 19th day of the electoral campaign. 

Prime Minister Robert Abela was handed a copy of the Labour Party's electoral manifesto by a child at a party event on Friday.Prime Minister Robert Abela was handed a copy of the Labour Party's electoral manifesto by a child at a party event on Friday.

A number of the party’s key pledges – from investing €700 million in green urban areas to extending free childcare to all, slashing corporate tax rates and boosting benefits for low-income households – have already been announced. 

Several others, however, are new.

They include a pledge to introduce timeframes for demolition and construction projects to create an app that will allow people to know which land in the countryside is publicly accessible. 

The party has plans to specifically target depressed villages and areas with a series of investment incentives and to require all new buildings to have renewable energy systems (read: solar panels) installed. 

It also puts pen to paper on some issues it has spoken about during the past legislature, explicitly committing itself to land reclamation projects, without providing any detail, to “immediately” starting work on a metro – but only if technical studies show that such a system is feasible. 

There are plans to require family courts to decide on child custody cases within set timeframes, and the party says it also wants to ensure child custody is shared equally between parents whenever possible. 

The document was unanimously approved by party supporters on Friday evening.The document was unanimously approved by party supporters on Friday evening.

Should the party be reelected into government, the country can also expect national consultations on euthanasia and electoral reform, and for family courts to be given fixed timeframes for deciding on child custody cases. 

The manifesto pledges several fiscal incentives for R&D focused spending, with tax breaks reaching 150%.

It also sees investment potential in sectors such as life sciences, marine biotechnology and medical cannabis. But the 2017 euphoria of Malta becoming a so-called ‘blockchain island’ appears to have sunk without a trace – the word ‘blockchain’ does not feature a single time in the party’s plans. 

Here is a summary of some of the party's promises, divided by sector. 

Economy & tax 

  •  A national plan to identify areas that need an economic boost. Such localities will get special investment incentives:
    • €15,000 grant for startups setting up shop there
    • 50% rebate on restoration costs up to €15,000
    • €30,000 subsidy for first-time buyers in such areas (up from €15,000)
    • Businesses in these areas to get a 30% subsidy on workers’ salaries, up to €6,000 per worker
  • Income tax changes and corporate tax cut to 25% on €250,000 in income
  • A 30% subsidy on capital investments, rising to 40% for businesses in Gozo or in the environmental, renewable energy, digital, social, educational sectors
  • Businesses that reinvest profits will not pay any tax on those investments
  • Tax on share transfers to be slashed to 1.5% (from 5%)
  • Malta Development Bank to get an added €40m in capital allocation
  • A one-stop-shop for due diligence for businesses
  • Amending the constitution to oblige governments to set aside money every year as a contingency fund

Research & innovation

  • Increasing research spending 2% of GDP
  • Investments linked to research and innovation to be subject to a 150% tax rebate
  • Multiple incentives – from fiscal benefits mentorship - for startups
  • Fiscal incentives to hire PhD graduates
  • Fiscal incentives for companies that create green jobs: up to 75% of salaries paid for a period of time

Pensions & elderly 

  • A pledge to increase pensions by €15 a week and other benefit increases for senior citizens 
  • Doubling of tax credit for first two years of private pension
  • Government to pay one year’s worth of private pension contributions if a worker loses their job
  • Those who choose private residential care to get €4,000 capping on tax-free income (up from €2,500)
  • A special dementia directorate will be set up.


  • Work to make unionisation compulsory for workers
  • Abolish zero hour work contracts
  • A wage supplement scheme for businesses impacted “by international events” of up to €800 a month for 6 months. Aid will be repaid over a five-year period starting from return to profitability.
  • Companies bidding for public contracts that pay more than minimum wage to be given ‘substantial advantages'.

Children & education

  • Free childcare for all, irrespective of whether parents work or not
  • Fiscal incentives of up to €300 a year for children to take part in extracurricular activities
  • Free laptop for secondary students, free internet and a uniform for kids from low-income backgrounds
  • Working towards a homework-free society
  • Reintroducing free fruit and vegetable portions for students and extending to secondary school
  • Gradually introduce coding as a key subject in primary and secondary schools
  • €20m investment in science labs in schools
  • Setting up a trade school within MCAST
  • Raise stipends by 15%, tax credit of €1,500 for parents whose children go onto post-secondary education
  • Students to be allowed to work 30 hours a week (up from 25)
  • More hours for PE, moving to a minimum of one hour a day
  • Cycling lessons for all primary children

Family & welfare:

  • Raising the minimum wage, although the party did not say by how much
  • Those on benefits will receive the full COLA amount
  • Child custody to be shared equally where possible in separation and divorce cases
  • Family courts to be required to decide on child custody cases within set timeframes 
  • Children's allowance to rise by €90 every year for the next five years.
  • Urgent family leave to double to 30 hours per year.
  • Two new homes for the elderly will be built. 


  • €10,000 grant, spread over 10 years, for first-time buyers
  • No capital gains or stamp duty on first €750,000 in property value
  • First-time buyers of UCA properties in Gozo to get a doubled grant of €30,000
  • Emergency loans to people unable to pay their mortgage due to being laid off or serious illness

Bank of Valletta. File photo.Bank of Valletta. File photo.

  • 500 additional social housing units, beyond the 1,700 already pledged
  • Work to give social housing residents living in private accommodation to buy that property themselves
  • Target making all social housing carbon-neutral by 2030

Environment & climate change

  • €700m investment in ‘green lungs’ projects
  • Government to seek to buy private property and convert it into public open spaces
  • Public land in the countryside to be identified and marked. People will use a mobile app to know where they can walk/picnic etc
  • Studies into roofing over December 13 road in Marsa
  • Develop a national park along Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq coast and one along the Għar Lapsi and Żurrieq coast 

The Labour administration has faced criticism over the uprooting of trees.The Labour administration has faced criticism over the uprooting of trees.

  • Commitment to plant 100,000 trees in five years
  • Create camping and picnic sites in Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq and Mellieħa’s Qortin
  • Miżieb and Aħrax to be open to picnics and campers all year round
  • Malta to organise an international climate change conference for small island states

Construction & planning

  • ‘Start discussions’ about stricter rules for ODZ buildings
  • Make UCA areas irrevocable, save for extending them
  • Introduce buffer zones between UCA and standard development zones
  • Introduce a skyline policy to better regulate skyscraper development
  • More weighting given to carbon-neutrality when deciding on permits
  • Introduce timelines for construction projects
  • Introduce building codes to ensure quality standards in excavation, demolition and construction

Over-development is a growing concern among the public. File photo.Over-development is a growing concern among the public. File photo.

  • New buildings that are built to maximum permissible height must have renewable energy systems
  • Land reclamation is “needed” in Malta and such projects will move ahead, including for clean energy production


  • Pledge to safeguard spring hunting season
  • Introduce standards for animal breeders, groomers and trainers
  • Give Animal Welfare Directorate the power to seize mistreated animals, prior to a court order
  • Set up a rehoming centre for abandoned animals
  • Free neutering of dogs and cats, extending microchipping to cats
  • More dog-friendly swimming zones
  • Work to develop more dog parks

Energy & water

  • A second interconnector
  • A pledge to keep electricity costs “stable”
  • A new utility tariff band for rental properties
  • New electricity distribution link between Magħtab and Mosta, 200 new substations
  • Incentives to install domestic greywater reuse systems
  • Aid for coastal businesses to develop their own desalination facilities
  • Working with the private sector to develop offshore renewable energy projects – floating wind and solar
  • A national strategy on hydrogen use
  • Push for more solar farms and schemes for families without roof space to have solar panels
  • Free energy audits for micro and small companies, with tax credits if they implement audit recommendations


  • Metro project to begin ‘immediately’ – but only if technical studies show that it is feasible
  • New sea ferry routes for places like Cottonera, Marsaxlokk, Marsascala, St Paul’s Bay, St Julian’s and Mellieħa
  • A lift from Marsamxett ferry landing to Peacock Garden in Valletta
  • Road design to give more consideration to cyclists
  • Green number plates for electric vehicles, giving them preferential access to parking, use of bus lanes
  • Pilot project to allow 16-year-olds to get a scooter licence
  • 1,200 additional EV charging points in three years
  • Parking facilities for new buildings and large establishments to have EV charging points
  • Geofencing to block e-kick scooters from pedestrian areas


  • Equip health centres to be able to carry out minor surgeries
  • Breast cancer screening at age 45 (from 50)
  • Introduction of aneurysm screening

Karin Grech Hospital. File photo.Karin Grech Hospital. File photo.

  • Free medicines for government formulary beneficiaries
  • More hospital beds and theatres to be equipped to operate during a pandemic
  • A follow-up clinic for COVID-19 patients
  • Personalised care of mental health patients in their own home
  • A new 430-bed hospital in Goz
  • New mental health hospital next to Mater Dei. Mount Carmel to be turned into a hospital for mental health patients with addiction problems
  • Free contraceptives for women
  • Free rapid testing for HIV
  • Extending IVF services and free IVF medicines backdated to January 1, 2022
  • HPV vaccine to be offered for free to boys
  • All diabetes patients to get remote monitoring devices. Cardiac and respiratory patients will eventually get them too 

Agriculture, fishing and food security

  • Unsold/expiring agricultural produce to be given to NGOs
  • Aid for grape farmers to plant new vines
  • New Pitkali building and new farmers’ market in Ta’ Qali
  • New water scheme to be extended to all farmers

File photo.File photo.

  • Fiscal incentives to sell land to be used for agriculture
  • Push to introduce financial instruments for loans to farmers and fishers
  • New aquaculture centre
  • Up to €8,000 in grants to turn fallow fields into orchards
  • Financial aid for first-time buyers of fishing boats

Social reforms

  • Discussions to allow people  with drug possession convictions to have them removed from their criminal records
  • A national discussion on voluntary euthanasia
  • Tax credits for companies with more than 50 employees with 40%+ women
  • VAT on menstrual products slashed
  • Women to get access to sterilisation services
  • Virginity testing to be outlawed
  • Vague on prostitution, but says vulnerable ‘should not be jailed’
  • Free gender reassignment surgery


  • Multiple pledges focused on encouraging community living
  • Adults with a disability to get occupational therapy

File photo.File photo.

  • Improved incentives to buy disability-ready vehicles
  • Subsidy for carers looking after people with severe disability to shoot up to €4,750 a year by 2023, up from €500


  • All incentives for businesses to get a 10% boost if in Gozo
  • Tax credits and incentives for businesses that invest in Gozo
  • Foreign professionals who relocate to Gozo to be tax-exempt on first €30,000 in income
  • An airstrip that does not take up agricultural land
  • A national park at Mġarr ix-Xini
  • Studies to build an underwater museum for divers
  • A new 430-bed hospital with 200 beds for acute patients

Arts & Culture

  • Art studio and concert space in Marsa
  • Fiscal incentives for artists and startups in creative fields
  • Donations to cultural entities to be subject to a 200% tax rebate (up from 150%)
  • Tax on book royalties to be halved to 7.5%
  • Screen Malta to get €2 million a year in aid for local productions. Aid will not need to be repaid.
  • Culture Pass to be extended to all citizens under 25.
  • Financial aid for band clubs to fix their premises or change their operations
  • Continued restoration of bastions and developing surrounding areas into green networks/open spaces


  • A 30% tax break on investment into new hotels or restoring existing ones
  • Renovation works in the lower part of Valletta, Qawra, Buġibba and Xemxija
  • Sliema’s Chalet to be restored for swimmers
  • Spinola square to become an “open space for families”


Police, migration, citizenship

  • Digital system to allow you to file a police report and track its progress online
  • Appointing an ambassador for immigration, focused on coordinating return of economic migrants
  • Tougher sentences for people smugglers
  • Citizenship by merit to be open to people who generated a lot of work in Malta
  • The PL explicitly commits itself to continue Malta's golden passports scheme


  • Appointing magistrates focused solely on criminal inquiries
  • Binding family courts to decide on separation and child custody cases within a fixed period of time
  • Reforming legal process to speed up compilation of evidence phase and prevent witnesses from testifying multiple times in the same case
  • Identifying a new site for the Gozo law courts
  • All civil appeals regarding Gozo to be heard in Gozo 


  • Malta to apply to become a full OECD member
  • A national strategy for corruption and integrity
  • Pledge to reassess conditions and resources for MPs
  • Public consultation on electoral reform
  • More resources and new offices for the Electoral Commission
  • Process to allow voting using ID cards (instead of voting documents)
  • Anti-SLAPP law and enshrining the free press in the constitution
  • Reforming Broadcasting Authority to include non-political people

Civil society:

  • Voluntary associations to receive a tax deduction equivalent to each donation made to them
  • Non-taxable organisations will receive a grant of 10 per cent of every donation received, up to a maximum of €2,000.
  • Lands Authority to find properties for voluntary organisations at advantageous rates
  • Ceiling for claims before the Consumer Claims Tribunal to increase to €5,000

Local councils:

  • All government entities will be bound to consult councils on every project in the locality
  • Government services to become available from council offices
  • Legal amendments so that under 18s will be able to become mayor and deputy mayor.

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