The Malta Independent 5 December 2023, Tuesday
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Robert Abela took advantage of persons with disability – Bernard Grech

Semira Abbas Shalan Wednesday, 13 September 2023, 19:30 Last update: about 4 months ago

Prime Minister Robert Abela has taken advantage of vulnerable persons and those with disabilities for electoral purposes, Opposition Leader Bernard Grech said.

In an interview on party television on Wednesday, Grech spoke about how the disability benefit fraud racket has affected both vulnerable people as well as the Maltese public, and showed Abela’s government’s failures, as well Abela’s betrayal towards persons with disability.


Some 800 people were receiving benefits for which they were not entitled. Former PL MP Silvio Grixti has been implicated in the scandal, having allegedly provided documents for people to receive these benefits.

“This scandal, which is enormous, and we keep finding out more about it, has several shortcomings. Abela cannot go lower than he has when he abused, used and took advantage of vulnerable persons,” Grech said, deeming it shameful.

He said that Abela also betrayed the Maltese and Gozitan public, who look at the general elections as something sacred to democracy and have participated fairly, yet Abela “cheated to buy votes,” adding that the public feels angry and cheated.

Grech said that those who worked this scandalous plan should be brought to court, and that the Police Commissioner must investigate Abela.

He also said Abela used the people who benefited from the benefits fraud, as they will now have to pay back the money they received.

Grech said that Labour supporters have attended the PN’s protest against the benefits fraud, saying that they are fed up. “Everyone recognises the good and the bad,” Grech said.

“For Abela, persons with disabilities are an opportunity for him to take what he wants – votes,” Grech said.

He spoke about the government’s lack of responsibility, accusing Social Policy Minister Michael Falzon of being incompetent, for having said that his ministry had no involvement in the racket.

“You’re confirming that this happened under your nose unknowingly? Are you blaming the Office of the Prime Minister?” Grech questioned, addressing Falzon.

“Abela is the brains behind the betrayal of the Maltese public and vulnerable people,” Grech said.

Grech said that in these 10 years Labour has been in government, it has made no investments in the country’s infrastructure, those which are tangible and those which are not.

He said that no investments were made in the health sector, saying that government has not invested in the hospital, where cancer patients are being sent away from their treatment appointments as the machines for radiotherapy were limited or faulty.

Grech said that this government benefited from the investment made by a previous PN government, and did not give anything back.

Grech spoke about the PN’s theme for the upcoming Independence Day festivities, which is “Ħajja aħjar f’pajjiżna” (A better life in our country), promising that a PN government would bring fairness, guaranteeing a country where if one works hard, they will succeed.

A PN government will also dedicate a €40 million fund towards exporters and importers, and remove tax on the Cost-of-Living-Adjustment (COLA).

On 20 September, the eve of Independence Day, Grech said that the PN will explain how it is convinced that it can offer the population a better quality of life, while investing in Maltese workers, education, and mental health, which he described as today’s epidemic which needs to be addressed.

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