The Malta Independent 23 May 2024, Thursday
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Government paid €3.3 million in interest on its public debt every week in 2022 - PN

Sabrina Zammit Thursday, 30 March 2023, 16:43 Last update: about 2 years ago

The government paid €3.3 million in interest on its public debt every week during 2022, PN Spokesperson for Finance Jerome Caruana Cilia said on Thursday.

During a press conference, in reaction to NSO figures which show how the country’s interest component of the public debt servicing costs totalled €173.6 million for 2022, Caruana Cilia spoke of how people are suffering from the unbalanced extremes between the poor and the rich.

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He explained how during home visits people are referring to the Labour’s latest scandals where PL MP Rosianne Cutajar in leaked chats said that she, like others, would be “pigging out”.

“They are pigging out and we are here trying to cope,” Caruana Cilia said with reference to the comments made by people who he meets on the campaign trail.

NSO statistics published on Thursday showed that by the end of December 2022, the Government’s Consolidated Fund had reported a deficit of €900.3 million.

He said that even people within the PL itself are complaining.

Caruana Cilia spoke of how there is a whiff of corruption every major project which the PL government has done in the past decade, such as the Montenegro wind farm, the Vitals contract, the Electrogas power station and the Marsa junction flyovers.

“I hope he doesn’t start with the small ones, families and businesses,” Caruana Cilia said, referring to Finance Minister Clyde Caruana’s comments in parliament earlier this week where he indirectly said that costs need to start being reduced.

“If the Finance Minister wants to remove the country’s debt than he should get back what was stolen not to tighten the belt,” he said with reference to the €8.4 million tax bill which Steward Health Care are still to pay.

“Our country needs a change in direction,” he said, adding that a PN in government would ensure to keep the good the PL government has done whilst removing the bad.

On his part PN MP, Albert Buttigieg said that the cost of living crisis is affecting many people negatively.

With reference to the European Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) which is used to measure consumer price inflation, he said that for 2022, it stood at 4.2% however “a year later this, February it stands at 7%.

He said that even Clyde Caruana confirmed that the cost of living is increasing in parliament when he said that the same purchase costing €220 last year, now costs €290.

Buttigieg also said that the EU is pushing for cleaner energy sources, and that from the current 22% from clean energy sources it is aiming for a target of 42.5%.

While answering questions from the media on PL MP Cutajar’s situation and whether she should resign, Buttigieg made reference to Prime Minister Robert Abela’s comments where he said that no one is bigger than the Labour Party or the country itself.

“The answer lies there,” he said.

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