The Malta Independent 15 October 2021, Friday

Budget 2022: ‘The FATF grey-listing was not tackled’ - PN

Tuesday, 12 October 2021, 13:43 Last update: about 3 days ago

The Nationalist Party today accused the government for not tackling the issue of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) grey-listing by failing to provide a coherent plan in the budget for 2022 as a way forward.

Addressing a press conference, the PN’s spokesperson for the economy Kristy Debono said that “the development of our economy is going to be greatly hindered because the government has failed to address the elephant in the room.”

“The burden added on small businesses is the price to pay for a select number of corrupt individuals who played with Malta’s reputation,” Debono added.

PN candidate Noel Muscat said that “the budget presented this year ignores the mistakes of previous years and nothing was mentioned about the income streams of the government.”

Muscat went on to applaud the government for certain measures such as the free IVF medication but claimed that this was a topic which the PN has been discussing for years. “Not to mention how front liners and other health workers were thrown under the bus after the great work they did in the pandemic while the government pledges to continue paying (Steward for three public hospitals),” he said.

When asked what a Nationalist Party government would have done better with regards to the grey-listing, Debono said that “from day one of a PN government, the reputation of Malta would immediately be improved and one must not forget that for years, PN led governments had undergone the same tests and there was never the issue of Malta being grey-listed.”

“We would immediately start working on a proper plan to tackle Malta’s grey- listing in order to get back to the white list. This is a burden which we are all going to have to carry but the government doesn’t deem the situation important enough to include in the budget,” Debono said.

Answering questions by The Malta Independent candidate Jerome Caruana Cilia said that although this budget has good measures and one has to recognise them as positive measures, “we have to be realistic by being the voice of the workers in sectors such as healthcare, cleaning and security who are working in precarious work and after this budget will remain in precarious work.”

Caruana Cilia drew to attention key areas which were not tackled by this budget, including the manufacturing industry. He said that “in the manufacturing industry, more investment could have been made in order to create more jobs. Throughout the whole budget only once was this topic touched upon.”

Other areas which Caruana Cilia said were forgotten by the government include the teaching and educators industry and the health care workers. He stated that “the government’s only plan is to snatch power now and not worry about tomorrow.”

 

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