The Malta Independent 3 June 2020, Wednesday

Updated: PM pledges to forfeit a month’s salary, urges other civil servants to follow suit

Albert Galea Tuesday, 24 March 2020, 22:33 Last update: about 3 months ago

Prime Minister Robert Abela pledged on Tuesday to forfeit a month’s worth of his salary as a gesture of solidarity towards those who have been worst hit by the economic impact of the public health crisis that the outbreak of Coronavirus in Malta has brought about.

Asked whether he believed anyone in the civil sector who earns more than €40,000 should take a pay cut to help fund small businesses struggling to make ends meet, Abela said that this was a measure which he was going to announce later in due course, but noted that he is indeed ready to forfeit a month’s worth of his salary.

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“I’ve made this gesture because this is how I see things,” he noted. “I won’t force any public official to reduce their salary but the spirit of solidarity is there and should be there. This is the time of ‘us’, which means we must all show solidarity with each other”, he said, urging others to follow his example.

“I know some people are suffering, that the fear and uncertainty they’re feeling is getting in the way of their work. This will be a moment that defines us and we should help those who are less privileged”, he said.

Tourism Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli also later joined the Prime Minister in announcing that she too will forfeit a month’s worth of her salary.  

Economy Minister Silvio Schembri will be forfeiting a month’s worth of his salary as well, noting that he could not help but follow the Prime Minister's "humble" example. He encouraged those who could to follow suit in the interest of those going through difficult times as a result of the crisis.

Agriculture Minister Anton Refalo also pledged to give up a month's salary.

 

Abela made his announcement while speaking in a press conference where he announced a new economic package worth some 70 million which will see, amongst other things, the government paying 800 per month to some 60,000 workers who work in the industries which are worst hit by the current crisis.

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