The Malta Independent 14 July 2020, Tuesday

‘Health costs money’ – Alex Muscat

Karl Azzopardi Tuesday, 26 May 2020, 19:50 Last update: about 3 months ago

'Health costs money' Parliamentary Secretary for Citizenship and Communities Alex Muscat said as an answer to the health versus economy debate that surrounds Malta's road to recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

He was speaking during Tuesday's parliamentary session where a discussion on the Companies Bill took place.

This discussion however soon turned into a debate between the government and the opposition with regards to Malta's Covid-19 recovery plan which has been criticised for favouring economy over public health.

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PN MP Edwin Vassallo said that he believes that the government's decision to reopen establishments is rash and it will not help the economy that much since our economy will only go back to normality when people feel safe enough.

"You cannot pretend that everything is ok and it is not true that the economy is moving in the right direction," he said.

Parliamentary Secretary Muscat answered to this by saying that anyone who criticised the government for prioritising the country's economy, is getting an answer for its actions today as it has been able to invest in the health sector by doing so; such as through the use of the Individual Investors Program (IIP) scheme.

"Health costs money," he said while emphasising that the Labour in government has used its money wisely and was able to invest in various sectors that needed help. One example he mentioned was the help that government gave to SMEs.

He added that Malta will inevitably be negatively effected by the Covid-19 pandemic like all other countries across the globe but it will be the country which will feel it the least, form both and economic and health perspective  - "this is a result of all the work that the Labour in government has done over the past 10 years."

Muscat believes that this is also the reason why Malta was able to take the measures it did during the pandemic, like the closing down of schools or hygienic measures like disinfection of common areas in housing estates.

"Health does not work against economy or vice versa, as some might think, and we were able to find the balance between the two after consulting with numerous experts," he concluded.


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