The Malta Independent 25 May 2024, Saturday
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‘Politics doesn’t work with words but with study, analysis and ultimately, decisions’ – Grech

Andrea Caruana Tuesday, 23 April 2024, 20:21 Last update: about 1 month ago

Opposition leader, Bernard Grech addressed parliament on Monday speaking about the detrimental repercussions of a government that doesn't plan ahead,

Parliament was discussing the Annual Report on Sustainable Development for the Year 2022.

Regarding the government's 'politics of facts', he pointed out that public spaces are snatched up by private investors or government itself and government still tells the people it will provide them with more public spaces. He added that it says what people want to hear but ends up doing the opposite.

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The sustainability report, Grech said, was prepared by the same Ministry that failed to prepare for the increased demand for energy and now requires a power-station worth €80 million. He added that the ministry didn't know, realize or care that the energy demand is growing.

Grech said that Maltese families are prudent, they ensure they are living well but also think about tomorrow. He went on to give the example of a couple waiting for a child and ensuring that a room is prepared in the house; they have foresight.

The government lacks foresight, Grech said, and this means we will have trouble. He said that the government didn't even have a plan for last summer's power outage, therefore how can it plan ahead to 2050? He added that heatwaves are not uncommon in Malta, what is uncommon however, is planning ahead.

Grech went on to list the reasons government gave for the power outages, however he said that there is one truth; that government can only blame its lack of foresight and said that it is "the antithesis of sustainability.

He added that after a couple of months, roads that cost hundreds of millions are turned up in order to place cables. So, it wasn't because of the cable that there was a power outage, he said. Grech said that government believes that by lying it can get away with everything however he also said that the people have begun to notice that its lack of planning has led to their poor quality of life.

Grech said that money is being spent; citing €400 million for hospitals not including the employee wages. However, he also said that the promises to fix up St Luke's and refurbish Gozo General Hospital weren't kept and that taxpayer's money is going into the pockets of friends of the government.

It was also pointed out by Grech, how the report failed to address the low and decreasing birth rate.

He said that "Politics doesn't work with words, but with study, analysis and, ultimately, decisions.

Grech went on to say that currently, everyone is doing what they want with individuals breaking regulations and enforcement officers being afraid to act.

According to Grech, skilled work in Malta has "finished" and is now done by foreigners. He said that we must give a better future to youth through better opportunities. The fact that 70% want to leave the country is "certification" that something is wrong, he said.

He said that despite this, the government carries on.

Grech said that the explosion in population isn't a matter about foreigners coming to work in Malta, but an unanticipation of population growth by the government. He went on to mention the matter of sewage dumping in the sea, which is also a health hazard, and said that this was done because government didn't invest in infrastructure and he who doesn't invest and plan ahead makes haphazard decisions.

"The only way we can be sustainable is by equal distribution of the common good", he said.

He went on to say how the government "caused and inconvenience and a burden to those who can't afford it" through the recent scandal of disability benefits and problems with BCRS. He questioned, "where is the social justice?"

He added that, following a visit to the AgriFair, some farmers believe that government killed agriculture with one farmer telling him that if the fields weren't his property he would have closed shop due to lack of help from the government and unkept promises.

"Your politics are not clear because they lack planning", Grech said and cited the slogan of two budgets ago "A Malta for our Children". He added that perhaps it is for the children of those in government and not those struggling because their pay runs out in three weeks or those who won't even dream of buying a house.

Grech said that everywhere you look and all one experiences indicates that the country is on "autopilot".

He reiterated that money is being spent and that taxpayers are being "robbed" with the taxation of the rise in the COLA. He also pointed out however, that those taxes are going towards roads that are made to be undone and for golden handshakes. 

Grech questioned how the aims of the report, such as decreasing rubbish by 2030, be realized when there are plans to build an incinerator for rubbish. Furthermore, how can public transport be made more accessible to the elderly and vulnerable when an elderly person has trouble boarding a bus currently, he asked.

He said that government plans to tackle the traffic problem by "sacrifices" and so they are admitting their incompetence, that the people will pay the price.

Grech said that a "wound" government fails to talk about is poverty, various NGOs and soup kitchens helping hundreds of people. He added that the report states that poverty will be eradicated by 2030, an additional 7 years to what government had initially promised, and so, 7 more years of the people suffering.

He further elaborated on poverty saying that the government has "lost control" on the cost of living and yet they throw they blame on industry and call it a cartel. Furthermore, he said that government only cares about the sustainability of their remaining in power.

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