Deficit to disappear by 2015 – Lawrence Gonzi
The proposals the PN will be issuing are all targeted towards ensuring that Malta’s finances are and will continue to be secure, PN leader Lawrence Gonzi held whilst describing the party’s slogan “Finanzi fis-Sod” during a radio discussion this morning.
Dr Gonzi listed a number of measures the government undertook during the last legislature to ensure secure finances in Malta, mentioning 20,000 jobs that were created and 5,000 jobs that have been safeguarded in the manufacturing sector.
PN wants to ensure that more assets are accessible to Maltese families, Dr Gonzi said. The PN is aiming that the public deficit is currently at 2.3% will be totally gone by 2015. He explained that according to studies Maltese workers are the least taxed in Europe. More proposals included the removal of the succession tax which will rid people the tax that is usually paid on inherited property. The reduction of income tax is on top of the agenda for PN with a reduction from 35% to 32% and successive reductions down to 25%.
The PN leader Gonzi also spoke about the proposal to introduce incentives for first and second time property buyers. Another incentive scheme will be introduced for the first 300 applicants who want to borrow money to improve their businesses. “More assets for our families, also mean an increase in children’s allowance and more investments in child care centers,” said Dr Gonzi.
Regarding the education sector, Dr Gonzi spoke how PN believes this should be always on top of the agenda to produce people that can fulfil jobs required for the country. Apprenticeship schemes are being carried out together with €23 million spent on stipends in 2012 and the total of €24 million expected to be given out this year due to an increasing student population.
Dr Gonzi also addressed the budget and the lowered credit ratings issued by Standard and Poor’s. The reason for this decrease is mainly attributed to the fact that Malta currently does not have a budget, the PN Leader agreed.
In the last 5 years health services were provided for free with investment in health care services, the building of the oncology centre for cancer treatment and 1,300 free medicines given out. The number of medicine distributed in 2012 increased by 57. Of these 15 are for cancer treatment such Herceptin. Two strategies have been put in action in order to help in the prevention and identifying of cancer at its early stages with the introduction of breast screening and prostrate testing.
Dr Gonzi also mentioned the miscalculations that the PL did in their proposals for the reduction of the utility bills, backing his claims with the statements made by experts Miles Seaman, Peter Gatt and Anne Fenech. Dr Gonzi spoke about the energy plan in act by the PN where the construction of a tunnel to provide half the electricity in Malta through a cable between Sicily and Malta is under way with €200 million being invested.
The accusations made by Joseph Muscat on the high cancer incidence due to the Marsa power station have been rebuffed by many including the author of the study the claims are based upon. Dr Gonzi said how in 24 hours the statement was declared to be false by the experts, mentioning Nicholas Refalo and Martin Balzan. He also mentioned the fact that Malta is the second least rated in the EU for cancer incidence.
The comparison between the two parties is clear and PN is presenting a programme that safeguards education, health institutions and the economy, Dr Gonzi concluded.