The Malta Independent 13 July 2024, Saturday
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Labour Party deputy leader, president refuse to answer questions on Silvio Grixti

Tuesday, 26 September 2023, 14:00 Last update: about 11 months ago

Two top Labour Party officials repeatedly refused to answer questions about the position of former MP Silvio Grixti after the social benefits scandal. 

Both Labour Party president Ramona Attard and deputy leader Daniel Micallef ignored journalists' questions on Grixti's place in the party during a press conference organised to present the party’s general conference.

Earlier this month, the Times of Malta reported how Grixti allegedly provided false medical documentation to assist people to fraudulently obtain monthly social benefits meant for people with severe disabilities. Claimants received an average of €450 monthly. Some have been charged in court, but the police is still to proceed against people who are believed to have been the masterminds behind the scheme.

Some individuals implicated in the scheme have told investigators that they were directed to Grixti by various individuals, including a Labour minister, a now-deceased PL MP, ministers' aides, and customer care officials from the Prime Minister's office.

Asked whether the PL is conducting its own investigations, Attard said that investigations are solely being carried out by the police.

***

“Insahhu Malta Tahgna” (Strengthening Our Malta) is the central theme of the Labour Party’s 2023 general conference, Attard said on Tuesday. The general conference will be held between 1 and 8 October.

She explained that the conference will be happening throughout the whole country within all of the electoral districts.

Attard said that the country has “moved forward significantly” during the past years under the Labour Party and that the PL is guaranteeing that it will continue moving forward to improve the lives of the Maltese and Gozitan workers. She said that the PL has continued to honours its promises and made reference to the recently agreed upon sectoral agreement for nurses and midwives.

“We strengthen because we continue to enact changes which put Malta at the forefront of various sectors,” she said. The PL President said that Malta is a “champion of equality”, but that there is a need to continue strengthening our communities according to the wishes of the Maltese and Gozitan people. “We want a Malta in the way the people wish it to be.”

Micallef, for this part, said that the Labour Party will “continue to be the political force which brings the interests of the people to the forefront”. He said that the PL speaks for the vulnerable and “works for our country’s future”.

He said that the main aim of political activism is to improve the lives of the people, and that said aim is the fulcrum of the PL’s 2023 general conference.

He said that some of the discussions and events will be taking place in Kalkara and Siggiewi.

He explained that the topic of discussion in Kalkara will be regarding mental and physical health. Micallef said that the aim is to remove stigma regarding the issue of mental health and make it so that people are comfortable in taking care of their mental health as they would in regards to their physical health. “There is important work ongoing, but we want this topic to go up on the national agenda.”

“Assistance, and not austerity,” he said. Micallef said that consciously with the challenges of the cost of living the Government still continued to subsidise the prices of energy and fuel. He said that the Government has invested in the security of the people and strengthened the conditions of workers. He also said that they have invested in education and that three new schools “With the best level of facilities across Malta and Gozo” will be opening at the beginning of the scholastic year.

PN statement

In a statement, the Nationalist Party said it is shameful that the Labour Party refused to answer questions about the "theft of social security benefits".

Transparency is the first step towards finding the truth about the involvement of PL members in this fraud and theft.

The Labour Party is attempting to shift the blame on others, but then fails to answer to this scandal, the PN said.

 

 

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