The Malta Independent 30 November 2022, Wednesday
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PN leader can attend protest for free if he goes by bus, Abela jibes, praising free public transport

Sabrina Zammit Sunday, 2 October 2022, 13:20 Last update: about 3 months ago

PN leader Bernard Grech could attend his party’s protest in Valletta for free if he uses the public transport system, Prime Minister Robert Abela jibed on Sunday, praising his government’s introduction of free public transport.

Public transport became free for all those with a Tal-Linja card as from Saturday, with Abela saying that this is an initiative that is sure to leave hundreds of euros in the pockets of many.

During a Labour Party activity in Paola, the Prime Minister said that the government could have taken back its multi-million proposal to make public transport free, given the difficult European times brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic together with the Ukrainian War, but it hadn’t.

The Prime Minister also announced a new reform concerning farmers and land owners. He said that some of its elements still need to be discussed, but that the new law will be presented in Parliament soon enough.

Explaining its main aspects he said that this new reform will help give more protection to farmers from being evicted from land they rent to be able to work it. The second aspect reflects on the need for land owners to be awarded a fair amount representing the value of the land they are renting out.

He said that this will ensure that the land is being worked and thus, although not fully dependent on its local produce, Malta can guarantee that it is maximising its full potential in this department.

Abela said that this reform came about after he witnessed many legal battles between the land owner and farmer who was renting the land, where the courts have favoured the land owner, leaving the farmer without a job.

Additionally he also said that this reform will be combined with other environmental projects.

Budget measures

On the next budget, the Prime Minister guaranteed to the elderly that they will “not be forgotten” and that their pension will increase once again.

On the energy sector Abela said that there is a total of around €600 million to be allocated for energy prices subsidies for next year.

He said that up until now this year the government has invested a total of €473 million and that “we do these strong measures because we understand that we need to be strong for the people”.

Parliament re-opening

As parliament is reopening its doors on Monday, Abela reminded that there are several reforms that need to be discussed.

Mentioning a few he said that the reform for electronic tracking is in its implementation stage and that the journalism reform also needs to be discussed to ensure their protection. The last reform he mentioned concerned the protection of workers.

On talks carried out inside and outside of the country, the PM said that the theme has always been about the people and about keeping the community at the centre of the country’s decision making, and that this is why it has to also be a starting point to combine a strong economy.

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