The Malta Independent 4 June 2020, Thursday

Updated: PN ‘amateurish’ and has no credibility when it comes to economic leadership – PM

Sunday, 29 September 2019, 10:49 Last update: about 8 months ago

Credibility is a word that the Opposition no longer has in its vocabulary, and one needs look no further than when it comes to economic leadership since the Opposition has  not even realised that Malta would have a surplus, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said on Sunday.

Speaking by telephone link on One Radio, the Prime Minister pointed out that mere hours after the Nationalist Party had critisized the government for no longer having the word surplus in its vocabulary, the National Statistics Office had announced a surplus.


“The people will always take what the Opposition says with a pinch of salt for the simple reason that when they were in government they did not keep their promises,” Muscat maintained, pointing out that, by contrast, the promises in the Labour Party manifesto were being kept.

“We have a government which turned around the economic future of the country.”

Focusing on the Opposition Party Leader Adrian Delia’s comments with regards to increased recurring expenses, Muscat explained that this was due to the increase in government workers, and the collective agreements signed with teachers, nurses, and the police.

He questioned whether Delia would reduce their wages because of recurring expenses, and insisted that the question is not whether recurring expenses increase, but if it increases with the money coming in.

Speaking on his trip to the United States and Canada, Muscat said that the message he took with him to the General Assembly of the United Nations was one of the importance of equality between the sexes and for the LGBT, and disability communities.

He also said that he spoke with many investors.


60% choose a vocational subject

Moving onto local issues, the Prime Minister touched on the start of the education reform through the “my journey” scheme and explained that 60% of Year 6 students had chosen a vocational subject.

“It is a sector that is important for the present and future of the country.”

The change in mentality in the Public Service to a “can-do” attitude was also praised by the Prime Minister who thanked the employees for their work.

He also noted that they had started a routine whereby they would reply to reports published by the Auditor General and the Ombudsman

“We see what they proposed, what we did, why we did not do certain things, and move on from there.”

PN statement

Reacting, the Nationalist Party said it was not true that the recurrent expenditure had only increased because of new collective agreements.

Under Muscat, recurrent expenditure increased from €2.4 billion to €3.8 billion - an increase of 65%.

Expenditure increased, the PN said, so that Vitals could be given hundreds of millions of euro for nothing. It increased so that tens of thousands of euro could be given in consultancies to friends of friends. The money is going into propaganda campaigns aimed at hiding the problems the country is facing. It is also going into extravagant ministerial travels.

On the other hand, the PN said, the increase is not going towards giving our children the education they deserve. Half of teachers say that they would leave their job if they find a better employment opportunity. The money is not being used to bolster security and increase cleanliness in our localities. It is not being used to strengthen the country's institutions, or to combat poverty.

Instead of speaking on this issues, Joseph Muscat in New York had chosen to attack the Opposition, which has just presented a number of proposals for the government's consideration. The country deserves better, the PN said.





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