The Malta Independent 21 February 2019, Thursday

Opposition seeks investigation on direct orders at Saint Vincent de Paul residence - Delia

Giulia Magri Sunday, 10 February 2019, 12:50 Last update: about 10 days ago

The Opposition will be asking the Office of the Auditor General to investigate the awarding of a long series of direct orders in favour of one particular contractor at Saint Vincent de Paul Residence, PN Leader Adrian Delia said on Sunday morning.

Speaking during a radio interview, Delia said there are laws on transparency which the Government should abide by and that “the money they are spending does not belong to Joseph Muscat’s but to Maltese and Gozitans taxpayers.”

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 He said that these direct orders were not given in the public interest but were awarded to favour a few individuals and were not in the interest of other business operators. What was meant to be a temporary solution for a few months, dragged on into a long-term permanent practice, with one contractor benefitting from direct orders at a value of €9 million. “This is illegal and wrong that the Government let this happen.”

Delia also said that the deal proposed by the Government to pass on large tracts of public land in St George’s Bay for private speculation was not a deal with the nation’s interest in mind. “The Nationalist Party would not allow public property to be given out practically for free.”

 He stated that the Government has no issue with giving away public property, but when it comes to the proposal of new social housing the government stated that there is no place nor land for it. He said that more individuals and organisations are joining the Opposition to take a stand against this deal, which the government has now been forced to retract.

Adrian Delia said that every sector from health to education is suffering. He said the government does not have any respect towards educators and lecturers and students, who are being taught in containers due to the lack of classrooms.

He said that the Government has gone against its promise of building a new school per year and that the future of the country is not being taken seriously enough. “The Nationalist Party will have the biggest investment in education, and that not only there will be respect towards educators, but we will provide an environment which children can enjoy and change the mentality towards schooling.”

He said that the PN is ready to provide the key to the future for Maltese and Gozitans.

Delia said that the Nationalist Party is watching the Labour Government and that the public is being robbed by having to pay more frequent and higher energy bills. This was confirmed in Court this week when preliminary arguments put forward by ARMS Ltd on its billing system were rejected by a Court.

The Nationalist Party is insisting that this practice of overcharging consumers be stopped immediately and that a Nationalist Government will refund consumers with all the amounts they overpaid in bills.

He said that the Government must be ready to answer all questions regarding every contract it has signed and if no answers are given it will face consequences.

 

PL reaction

While Adrian Delia said that Malta has ended up as a third world country, the European Commission this week stated that Malta is currently going through the biggest economic growth in Europe and that Government has also began work on a €50 million project of social housing to build a further 500 new social housing units, Labour said in a statement.

The PL said the country’s surplus is being spent on increasing pensions, on the construction of new schools and on decreasing hospital waiting times.

Apart from this, the Government is also giving back a public holiday to the workers which was taken away by the Nationalist Government.

 

Government reaction

In another reaction, the government said Delia had made a number of incorrect assertions.

The government had built more than one new school per year it said, adding that new schools had opened in Dingli, Kirkop, Zebbug, Pembroke, Ghajnsielem and Marsascala. A new school would soon be opening in Qawra.

It said Delia was also wrong on the St Paul’s Bay school. It was not true that children are being taught in containers, the government said.

“Students are being taught in the best of classrooms, with air conditioning, all-in-one PCs and interactive whiteboards.”

 The classrooms being used have been in use since 2016 and the feedback on them has been positive, it said. 

  

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