Manifesto approved - Louis Grech role revealed
PL Deputy Leader for Government Issues Louis Grech will be in charge of ensuring that the party's roadmap be implemented on time and within the budget once the PL is elected in government, PL Leader Joseph Muscat announced tonight during the General Assembly which approved the party’s Electoral Manifesto.
The Electoral Manifesto is the result of three years of work, the PL Leader announced, explaining that it is a roadmap based on 20 priorities for the coming five years. It was written in collaboration with everyone who approached the PL, he said, as well as through online consultation where people were able to send the Party their proposals. “This is a Manifesto written by the people,” he explained, adding that the PL knows exactly how much their proposals will cost.
The difference between the PN and PL is that the PN are assuming that there will be economic growth, whilst the PL are giving proposals which will lead to this growth, Dr Muscat added. The PN included a tax on people earning the minimum wage, he continued, “then they tried to deny it”. The PL Leader explained that the party proposed ideas which the PL know are doable. “The PN promised to reduce waiting lists, reduce overcrowding, recreate MEPA, but they have kept none of these promises”. Dr Muscat held that when he addresses the same conference in five years time, the party's electoral promises would ahve been implemented.
Dr Muscat indicated that certain people have asked him to include certain proposals, but said that these might not have been doable.
A new Government will have someone appointed to oversee the roadmap implemented, Dr Muscat promised, adding that this will ensure that the roadmap will be implemented. “This person will be Louis Grech”. A new Government will see these proposals implemented on time and within the budget, he argued, mentioning the PL’s energy plan as a prime example of what will be implimented.
Dr Muscat spoke of a Child Assessment Unit and stipends. He described proposals which will be of benefit for SME’s, adding that Malta will become a WIFI country, where the whole country would be WIFI accessible.
Dr Muscat described a large number of the PLs proposals which include action teams for tourism which will overlook constant upgrades in tourism sectors.
Talking about helath, the PL leader proclaimed that IVF will be free and that the state will pay for both parents to travel abroad if their child needs external medical care. He spoke of a new centre for fostering which would help families adopt, adding that women who adopt young children will be able to take maternity leave. Disability pension will be increased, he stated, adding that a Commissioner for the Protection of Animals will be chosen. He emphasised that if a police officer or member of the armed forces dies on duty, then the family would receive the full pension.
The PL Leader concluded that he no longer sees people as Nationalist or Labour, but rather as Maltese. He emphasised that the PL movement has changed the way politics are viewed on the Island, explaining that the PL is proud to be able to work with workers as well as employers.
PL will safeguard peoples rights
The PL will safeguard the rights of those considered vulnerable, PL Deputy Leader Louis Grech announced.
This will include social infrastructure, especially of those who are considered vulnerable, the PL Deputy Leader pledged. He described the Labour Party as a movement which will work for all people, emphasising the determination the movement has to encourage people to believe that the impossible is possible. He explained the PL’s priorities, arguing that a hospital for cancer would take priority over new Government offices. The PL bases its politics on honesty and truth, he said, continuing that the party will work for the people and will be accountable for all its actions.
The PN has lost all its credibility, Louis Grech argued. He mentioned the White Rocks project as well as Enemalta as examples of broken promises. “Our Manifesto shows our desire to help all Maltese and Gozitans,” he said, adding that changes will be made which will strengthen the values of accountability and transparency. The PL promise to create an economic environment which would help Malta’s finances and will call upon more women to join the workforce and encourage more investment in the country.
Louis Grech spoke of the relationship between citizens and politicians, explaining that the people must come first, above all else. “We must convince the people to vote for us on Match 9”. The PL will take nothing for granted, he said, adding that the PN have undertaken a negative campaign. The PL is a party full of energy and dignity, he explained, emphasising the bond the movement has created between all who join it.
The PL movement is a noble one based on honesty, Lara Boffa said during her intervention.
PL candidate Cyrus Engerer described that Malta must live up to EU environmental standards, adding that people should be allowed to reach their economic goals. “Our country should be used as an example for other countries,” he argued, stating that the Maltese culture must be honoured. He spoke on being in the front lines when fighting for Stipends and for Divorce.
The PL candidate described how every day he meets people who will vote Labour, who have always been Nationalists. “Do not be afraid to vote for us,” he urged, adding that the past is irrelevant to this party, but what is important is the future that links us.
Ex-FORUM President John Bencini explained that when he left the PN Party, the PN had written to the police commissioner asking him to investigate claims of Mr Bencini’s ongoing scandal.
Albert Gauci Cunningham thanked Joseph Muscat for opening his arms to everyone and anyone. This Manifesto is the result of discussions with doctors, teachers, people from the LGBT community.
Professor Charles Grixti announced that “the PN were not interested in my opinions regarding Mater Dei Hospital as I was blacked out”. The Electoral Manifesto touches all age groups from all walks of life, he explained.
Consider it done!
Consider the PL proposals done, Labour Party Deputy Leader Toni Abela pronounced during his speech.
Political responsibility must be addressed in Malta, Dr Abela argued. He emphasised that someone implicated in a scandal must resign as this is the definition of political responsibility. He spoke of certain Ministers who have flown on private jets with businessmen, arguing that abroad this is unheard of.
Dr Abela described the battle Malta is fighting against cancer and promised that the PL will continue this fight, as well as taking up arms against diabetes and other ailments. “This is not all,” he said. The PL will battle poverty and the problems within legal system, as well as corruption.
The PL Deputy Leader spoke on energy, adding that the PL wants to fight against the bad treatment the Elderly are enduring. He argued that there are two wards specifically made up for the media, but the rest is disgraceful. Moving onto energy, he spoke of the black dust in Fgura, which must be cleaned up and stopped once and for all by closing down the Marsa power station.
The PL Manifesto promises everyone, that “with the Labour Party, no-one is alone”. He described people as not wanting to feel pressure when anticipating the energy bill. The PL promised that if elected, they will go after those who have dealt in shady business, indicating that honest businessmen will have nothing to fear. “We will not be able to create a perfect world, but we can help make life easier for people through our proposals”. Mentioning the PN medicine plan, A single person would need to pay 60% of medicine cost, he argued.
The Labour Party will stand side by side by those who have been mistreated, Dr Abela promised. Those companies and businesses that have mistreated their employees will not be allowed to work with Government, he said.
Concluding, the PL Deputy Leader described the COLA and spoke of families who barely see each other due to not earning enough money to live. Stipends provide help to these families, he added, promising that Stipends will not be removed.
Business women Marlene Seychell was invited on stage and spoke on the importance of childcare and how it would make life easier for families with working parents.
Cliques a thing of the past
Cliques will be a thing of the past, PL candidate Karmenu Vella announced during his speech
PL candidate Karmenu Vella was one of the people involved in the creation of the Electoral Manifesto it was announced. The Whistle Blowers Act must be enacted and party finances must be made public in order to decrease corruption, he said. The PL will focus on disadvantaged individuals and on the healthcare sector in order to reduce waiting lists and overcrowding. The PL is a movement for everyone and will not exclude anyone, he emphasised.
The PN are right to say that the PL doesn’t have a Labour Party Manifesto, Mr Vella explained. “It doesn’t belong to Labourites, we have a Manifesto that belongs to all Maltese and Gozitans!” He added that the PL spoke with every organisation to help build this programme from the ground up. The first PL congress in September saw the outline of this Manifesto drawn, he argued. He indicated that the PL Leader has been unveiling proposals each day.
Mr Vella described the Manifesto as a contract between the Labour Party movement and the Maltese people. “This Manifesto will be accepted by a large number of people, including those who don’t usually see eye-to-eye with us,”
The Manifesto is the party’s roadmap, he indicated, describing todays Government as one which didn’t pay attention to the financial and economic situation of the country. “There’s a record debt in this country,” he said. adding that the PL want to bring Social Justice and a strong economy to Malta. Cliques will be a thing of the past, he announced.
Every project the Government embarks on must not be stalled or over extended, the PL candidate declared, adding that projects must also stick to their budget. The Government needs to stop wasting funds in order to enforce economic growth. Speaking on Enemalta, Karmenu Vella proclaimed that energy costs need to be reduced and the sheer amount of funds being thrown into Enemalta today is unacceptable.
Efficiency is key, the PL candidate stated. Quality jobs need to be created, in both the existing industries as well as in new industries through investment from other countries. “The economy must grow, and this will be possible with the inclusion of more women in the workforce”.
Healthcare was next on Mr Vella’s agenda, responding to the PN’s plan by stating that free medicine is a right. “A change in direction is needed”. The Government cannot continue to treat the Maltese people as second class citizens he concluded.
Actor and film director Frederick Testa walked on the stage for a few brief moments to thank Joseph Muscat for all he plans to do for the country.
University student Mark Vella gave a short speech expressing his wish to play a more important role in the party in the coming years. Mr Vella thanked the PL Leader for all he plans to do for Malta’s youth.
Dr Ian Chircop, son of Karl Chircop, expressed his disappointment in the current healthcare system, where patients are stuck on beds in corridors, waiting for hours to be treated. “Under this Government, healthcare has been disgraced,” he added. Thanking the movement, he argued that Joseph Muscat would help fix the problem and heal the country.
A new style of Party
The Maltese people deserve a new style of party, PL Party President Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi said in his opening speech.
“The Party has become a movement for people who normally were not Labour Party voters, they have become more in tune with the new movement,” the PL President added.
The PL President spoke about children and the importance they play in the future for Malta. He urged that these children have a right to the best possible education, healthcare system and future, adding that it is important for the PL to create a country where they can strive.
The PL President spoke of jobs, arguing that anyone who wants to work will find work. "A vote for the PL will lead Malta to become the best country in Europe". He emphasised the importance of the Manifesto, arguing that it represents the participation of all Maltese people. This Manifesto is the result of hard work, Mr Azzopardi explained, stating that this movement represents the PL’s transition into a movement.
“They said we didn’t have an electoral programme”, PL Executive Secretary Lydia Abela said, adding that this is the PL’s answer to these accusations. The PL have embarked on a campaign based on good politics she continued.
The Executive Secretary commented on the PN, adding that they have been trailing behind the PL since the beginning of the campaign. The PN tried to destroy the energy plan, she reiterated, “but isn’t there proof that gas is the best choice for the future of Malta?” The PL promise to uphold the idea of free healthcare and will try to keep the patient at the heart of all politics to do with this sector.
Mrs Abela indicated that the PN have said on multiple occasions that the PL have been copying the PN’s past proposals. “Then why didn’t the PN implement these proposals in the past?” Tablets were mentioned, where she said that the PN tried to one-up the PL without undertaking the proper research. Concluding, she promised that the PL proposals will be implemented explaining that the PL will work tirelessly to improve Malta.
The Labour Party General Assembly will see the PL Electoral Manifesto approved or denied tonight by the Labour Party delegates. It includes a number of proposals which have to this point not been revealed by the Labour Party.
The Manifesto sees 837 proposals divided into 20 ‘priorities’ which are; Education, Economy, Work, Energy, Health, Civil Liberties, Social Justice, Gozo, Environment and Planning, Infrastructure, Consumers, Civil and Voluntary Society, Art Culture and Creativity, Sport, Justice, Security, Democracy and Transparency, Regional and Local Government, Efficient Government, A Maltese Mediterranean and European Malta.