Gilles Baum

Improving everyday life for the public: before, during and after the crisis

Getting vaccinated helps! The combination of the vaccination campaign and the sanitary measures has made an impact. Even if the numbers of positive cases have increased lately. We need to take this seriously and keep a close eye on the further development of the situation.

Luxembourg has made it through the crisis quite well. Had it not been for the commitment, the responsibility, and the solidarity of the people in the country, this would not have been possible. This is why we must continue on the path we have taken.

The DP is particularly appreciative of the fact that the government and the majority have made efforts during the fight against the crisis, to combat social disparities – for the people and for the businesses.

However, it all comes at a cost, even though Minister of Finance Pierre Gramegna has been able to work out the required margin with his responsible budgetary policy. We are to be grateful to have been able to enter the crisis with healthy state finances. However, due to the financial hole which the pandemic is tearing into our budget, it is obvious that it would be irresponsible to implement an extensive fiscal reform at this stage. To finance a fiscal reform with additional debt is not an option for the DP. At the same time we also believe that this is not the time for tax increases or reductions – or a Corona tax for that matter.

For the DP there is also no simple going back to how things used to be. What worked well in the past, should be held on to, whatever requires improvement, should be improved. As such, the concept of working from home on a voluntary basis should be extended.

Working hours are another construction site where more individual flexibility is needed and that should be worked out between the employer and the employees. The maximum working hours and extra allowances for Sunday or bank holiday work should however not be modified.

The DP appreciates the success of the Home office working arrangements during the crisis. This doesn’t however mean that people should be available at all times: the keyword here is the right to disconnect. The digital responsibility needs to have clear limits to ensure that the psychological pressure doesn’t make people sick.

The same goes for a social insurance of self-employed people during times of a crisis. Another demand is the change to a 10-day paternity leave for self-employed people.

You will notice that the Covid-virus doesn’t bring politics to a stop. The decentralisation of our economy and of the public administrations, the strengthening of our health sector, the promotion and boosting of local consumption and local production chains and the creation of affordable living spaces are ongoing priorities for the upcoming months.

The target of the DP’s priorities list is an improvement of everyday life for our citizens – at home and at work. This is what we are working towards: before, during and after the crisis.

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