Four years listening, four years working – Joseph Muscat
PL Leader Joseph Muscat explained that the reason why the Labour Party has brought out new schemes daily is because they have spent four years listening and four years working.
He announced the creation of a Committee for Petitions, where people can send their petitions to be heard and reviewed by an official body. “We will create a Committee of petitions, who will see these petitions heard and who will talk with these people. Where needed, it will recommend a plenary session in Parliament on the issue. This will help bring Parliament and people closer together".
He spoke on the pay rise for MP’s and said; “There cannot be a broken connection between politicians and the people. The issue of a €500 pay rise was wrong. They offered it to me, but I refused. Regardless, this pay rise made people feel distant from its leaders. MP’s should only be paid if they attend Parliament and I cannot understand why the PN is making such a big deal arguing against this".
Dr Muscat spoke on corruption, arguing that “having a politician who committed a corrupt act ten years ago get away with it is wrong and this needs to change”.
Standard and Poor
Standard and Poor’s downgrade is serious, he explained. “We used to tell the government that we are drowning in debt, but they never listened. Now the international community is telling him the same thing”.
He explained that Enemalta was specifically mentioned as a main problem in the report. In addition, the report also mentioned the debt within the private sector. “This is because they don’t have enough money in their pockets,” he argued. “This rating proves that we were right not to have faith in the governments’ handling of our finances. This is a result of years of mismanagement”.
The idea of our country having ‘solid finances’ is now proven to be false, he added. ”What we have proposed so far, will help to expand the economy and leave money in the pockets of the people”.
Joseph Muscat spoke about removing bureaucracy and how it will help reduce the waste of time that small, medium and large businesses face today. He also spoke on the proposed Commissioner to help reduce bureaucracy by 25%, where he said; “We will make sure that this Commissioner will be listened to. In addition, when bringing in a new business regulation a PL government will adopt the policy of ‘one in one out’, in order not to overwhelm businesses". Lastly, he will introduce ‘sunset clauses’ which will keep government on its toes as if these regulations aren’t renewed after a certain period of time, they will automatically drop.
“Dr Gonzi had promised to fix MEPA, but he didn’t, he promised to reduce income tax, but he didn’t, how can we believe what GonziPN says?” Dr Muscat asked in his concluding statement. “Our proposals are well thought and we know that we’ve done our work. Our vision is there and we know where we want to go and how to get there”.