The Malta Independent 18 November 2018, Sunday

'Government is not doing anything to help those who tried and failed' - Delia

Thursday, 1 November 2018, 12:18 Last update: about 16 days ago

Opposition Leader Adrian Delia came out with some harsh criticisms of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, and of the budget in general, arguing that Muscat is doing nothing to help those who have tried and failed in business.

He spoke during the General Estimates of the budget for the Office of the Prime Minister debate in Parliament

He criticised Muscat's 'no tricks just treats' phrase, saying that this indicates how the government views the economy. He said that government looks at people as numbers, addressing people like children who one would give sweets to.
"Treats for the boys and tricks for the people. While the Prime Minister says there were no tricks, the Prime Minister tried to misuse numbers to discredit the Opposition," he said, stressing that there were tricks.

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"This is a government of numbers, while we are an Opposition of the people." He said that there are people suffering, people doing well and others doing very well. He said that one must look at whether those doing very well are doing so based on their own work, if they are investors, or are some of the 700 placed in positions by government.

Delia mentioned that 4,000 businesses had to close, and criticised Muscat for just using this as a statistic and following on it by saying how many new businesses opened. "Are these not important? Are they only a number? For government, yes. For the PN, even one business failing is not a good thing. Behind every business is a person, a family, children, people who worked hard to try and succeed. We must create mechanisms to help those who fail in order for them to try again and not give up."

On immigration, he said that government's policy is not planned and is one which shows panic. Delia said that if one does not plan ahead to see how many workers one needs, and the kind of workers, then there could be issues.

He said that it creates a situation of cheap labour. He said that the Prime Minister took his intelligent immigration statement to mean wealthy immigration. "Muscat asked why criticise the IIP if you want intelligent immigration?" Intelligent immigration for Muscat means money, Delia said.

"The debate on citizenship can occur whenever the government wants, and that debate has nothing to do with concepts regarding immigration."

He said the Prime Minister is wrong in saying the PN has moved to the far-right. He said that Malta is the most densely populated country in the EU. "It is clear that you cannot plan the economy on a strong increase in population. Isn't it obvious that we cannot grow the economy by only growing the population? Doesn't this government know it? Does government want to tell us how many people they want to bring in?"

He addressed criticism Muscat had made regarding immigration, where the Prime Minister said he quoted migration statistics from a PN document which showed far less figures than Delia himself had used.

"The Prime Minister tried to quote from our documents to say we had the wrong statistics. What the PM tabled is chart that indicates the top 10 third country nationals working in Malta. We quoted from Eurostat and residency permits while he is quoting only work permits. If a person moves to Malta for work and brings his family, then you should not only count the worker."

"Let's be serious and honest. The population is increasing fast in a short period." He said that government chose an economic model based on bringing in foreigners to pay for pensions.

He said that bringing workers to Malta is a good thing, but it must be planned. "We are not against bringing in people to work in Malta,. But we want a serious long-term plan. Plan ahead for the amount of teachers we will need, for example."

He questioned where the predicted huge influx of foreigners will be housed in the coming years.

While saying that Malta needs more educators, police officers, doctors and nurses, and that he wants to improve their working conditions, he criticised government's 700 persons of trust.

He criticised government's social housing strategy, arguing that there are over 3,000 people who government is not interested in.

He said government boasted about the environment. "There is not a single person who things the environment did well under this government."

"Where is this better environment? In 4 villas on ODZ land belonging to the chosen few who can build wherever they want?"

 


 

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