Malta’s annual National Youth Parliament took place this week and if it’s proven one thing it’s that the nation’s youths have some pretty interesting ideas on how society should progress.
Up for discussion at the NYP this year were the education system, technology, the environment, AI, gender equality, single-use plastic and civic education.
Here are some of the most thought-invoking proposals that were put forward.
1. A carbon tax should be introduced on products that harm the environment, with the tax rate determined according to the extent of their damage.
2. A heavy tax should be imposed on plastic cutlery.
3. Tax rebates as incentives for companies to offer free car-pooling to their staff.
4. People who attend clean-ups should be rewarded with shopping vouchers or rebates on utility bills.
5. Plastic flat files should be banned at schools and replaced with cardboard box files.
6. A topic dedicated to the environment and the climate crisis should be established at primary schools to raise awareness of the problem at a young age.
7. Shops should completely stop selling single-use plastic bags.
8. Shops should be given financial incentives to stop packaging their food in single-use plastic.
9. Public water fountains should be erected all around Malta, with a 20c charge per use, to discourage people from buying plastic water bottles.
10. Designated smoking zones should be set up in public spaces such as bays and restaurants.
11. Studies and discussions should be carried out on the possible introduction of self-driving buses.
12. A training scheme should be set up to give new skills to workers whose jobs are most threatened by artificial intelligence.
13. Free childcare services should be expanded at night for parents who work late hours.
14. Shops should be incentivised to eliminate the so-called ‘pink tax’, the phenomenon of products marketed for women costing more than those marketed for men.
15. The morning after pill must be cheaper and be made available at the GU Clinic.
16. Annual psychological check-ups should be provided for secondary school students.
17. Courts should stop favouring mothers over fathers when dealing with child custody cases and treat these cases on a case-by-case basis.
18. Harsher fines should be introduced for people who falsely accuse others of rape, people falsely accused of rape must have the right to seek moral damages.
19. MPs who insult others in Parliament should be immediately suspended from the House; MPs who clock up three or more suspensions in a month should be suspended for two sittings.
20. A hotline should be launched for citizens to report street harassment, with people found guilty if they are reported by at least three separate sources on two separate occasions.
21. Self-defence classes should be introduced at PE classes to teach children how to protect themselves against rapists.
22. Uniform equality should be a right at schools and boys should have a right to wear skirts if they so please.
23. Now that the national voting age has been lowered to 16, obligatory civic education lessons should be introduced at secondary school to ensure youths are well-informed before voting.