The Malta Independent 13 December 2018, Thursday

Launch of PN General Council: ’Creating welfare without selling out our country’

Rebekah Cilia Wednesday, 21 November 2018, 21:43 Last update: about 21 days ago

The Nationalist Party’s General Council, themed ‘Welfare For All in a Society that Cares’, was launched on Wednesday evening by PN General Secretary Clyde Puli.

“We believe there is another way for Malta, a better way, we are capable to plan a future together, to say things as they are in a calm manner, to have a modern Malta based on values, to create welfare without selling out our country,” Puli said.

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Speaking during the first of four sessions, Puli said the document covering this general council carries many proposals but the main one is simple, that of a long-term plan.

Malta needs a sense of direction away from the now with a wide knowledge of the situation, Puli noted.

He also said that Malta needs a long-term plan that will serve as a compass, that can also be used when the economic climate goes south.

“We have to have our eyes open to know where we are going and how to get there,” Puli said.

He said that whilst a long-term plan is needed, it is just a tool and can only bear fruit only depending on how it is used. “We have a vision based on a society that cares,” he continued.

This vision is in stark contrast with that of the Labour Party, Puli noted, which is cosmopolitan based on individualism.

He also mentioned a number of difficulties Malta is facing at the moment including the lack of sustainability of the current economic plan. Puli said that for the current economy to grow, the population needs to grow by 10,000 per year.

Furthermore, Puli mentioned that the economy is based on cheap labour when what is required is quality industries. The lack of good governance and the damage being done to Malta’s reputation due to corruption are also amongst the difficulties Malta is facing at the moment.

These threats to the Maltese economy are already being felt especially by the people, Puli pointed out.

Focusing again on Malta’s tarnished reputation, Puli said: “our country’s reputation is being corroded because of the actions of the highest people in power.” Authorities are also being corroded to the point of becoming impotent against the same government who created them.

Puli continued to say that the building of a power station that was not needed and the revelations of 17 Black are being aired around the world, damaging Malta’s reputation. Pilatus Bank, as well as tenders being given in dubious manners, were amongst the problems Malta’s reputation is facing.

 These many instances of corruption the Labour government is involved in is threatening Malta’s industries that were built so carefully over 25 years. This bad reputation is also affecting Malta’s attractiveness, which Puli said has declined over the year.

Puli applauded Adrian Delia for taking “the personal risk” to take the government to court over the Vitals deal. He also mentioned Satabank whereby people’s assets were frozen because Malta’s reputation was not protected.

The Labour government was just a few years back discussing pushbacks whilst now there is a foreign worker influx, which Puli described as workers of cheap labour. Due to having the highest level of early school leavers already taking lower paying jobs, as well as foreign workers also taking lower paying jobs, workers are being trapped, he said.

Whilst Malta’s GDP has increased between 2016 to 2017, which is positive, it does not reveal everything. The GDP does not show that individual consumption, as issued by the EU, did not increase but in fact decreased from 80 per cent of the European median to 78 per cent.

In a white paper issued by the Labour government about social housing, Puli said shows that for one to buy a property, even in the cheapest area, in 2016 one had to have an income of at least €1,667.

Puli said Joseph Muscat was wrong regarding the number of people living in poverty, saying poverty had increased by 2,565 people since 2012. “The government has also established food banks because not everyone has a roof over their head or can afford to eat,” he noted.

With Malta already being the densest country in Europe, the increased population is causing an increase in the number of cars and hence pollution, Puli said Malta needs a plan for traffic, schools, infrastructure, drainage, hospitals.

Deputy leader for PN party affairs, Robert Arrigo, criticised the number of fake profiles on Facebook saying it does not reflect the reality within the party. 

Arrigo applauded Delia on being correct on a number of facets including the water and electricity bills saga, vitals as well as Egrant. He said that if everything was transparent we would not need to wait for the court cases to be concluded.

He questioned why certain court cases were going so slow and perhaps even being blocked. Arrigo said that they were being slowed down so perhaps the outcome is exposed after MEP elections 2019 or even extended to general elections 2022. This “is a true roadmap,” Arrigo said sarcastically.

 

Photos: Luke Zerafa

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