The Malta Independent 22 September 2018, Saturday

Where is the surplus? – Delia says economy benefits the few rather than the many

Sunday, 1 October 2017, 10:40 Last update: about 13 months ago

Newly-elected PN Leader Adrian Delia has said that surplus achieved by the government last year had benefitted the few rather than the many ahead of the budget on 9 October.

The surplus, he said, was certainly something positive but the lack of capital projects and assistance to vulnerable sections of society showed that it benefits the few.

"Where is this surplus? Is it helping the young people in this country who can't rent a property let alone purchase one? Is it helping the senior citizens whose pension does not last the whole months? Is it helping single mothers who are struggling to make ends meet with their benefits? Is it helping students or their parents?"

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The PN's pre-budget document attributed the surplus to a "historic low capital expenditure since 1980" as the main reason behind the €8.9 million.

It also said that the NSO created a fund to account for 70% of the flow of incomes from the IIP scheme, and included this for one year, rather than three.

"If the balance had to be corrected for this one-off factor, the general government balance would have been -0.6% of GDP or a deficit of €63 million."

The document also said that while there is a surplus, the national debt has increased over the last five years.

Finance Minister Edward Scicluna labelled the document as negative, and said that he expected another surplus at the end of the year.

Turning to the proposed Public Appointments Act, which will see the establishment of a new parliamentary committee to scrutinise public appointments, Delia said that the PN was in agreement with the proposal in principle, however he insisted that this should have been implemented before several appointments were made throughout the previous legislature and questioned whether reappointments will be subject to the committee.

"That is the past now. We need to look forward and be able to effectively scrutinize what will be proposed in the coming weeks."

The PN recently presented a Private Members Bill proposing the introduction of the internationally recognized Good Samaritan Legislation, something which Delia says will foster a more just and generous society in Malta.

He explained that people sometimes hold back from assisting persons in need of medical help for fear of doing more harm than good, with the possibility of ending up in court, despite their noble intentions.

Delia, in  a message following the start of the scholastic year, he once again placed on emphasis on reform in the country's educational system.

"We need to start looking at education diffently. Too many people look at school as an obligation and grow to dislike it which does not help them learn. We need institutions which are able to recognise a child's individual skill and place particular focus their talents. Right now we focus on retention and most people forget the information, we need to ensure that our students understand the material."

 


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