PN made a mess - Joseph Muscat
“The Nationalist Government has made a mess of its energy policy, first opting for gas, then heavy fuel oil” – Labour Leader Joseph Muscat.
In a two-hour speech, Opposition Leader Joseph Muscat made a wide-ranging speech covering all the aspects of the administration, focusing particularly on finance, the economy, and energy. “We are recognising the aspirations of youths, middle-class, families and students. We need economic competence to govern the country,” he pledged.
Muscat explained how the Opposition had told the Nationalist Government that his financial estimates were wrong, “but he did not budge. “What we told him was right, as the EC has announced that it was putting Malta under an enhanced surveillance programme,” he insisted.
The inflation rates in the Eurozone were much lower than those in Malta, leading to an increased cost of living. With certain exceptions, the jobs being created by the Nationalist Government were not up to expectation.
“The Government boasts that it has created 20,000 jobs. Four employees went to my office to explain their plight. They are employed on a three-month contact; hence according the Gonzi calculation 16 new jobs have been created,” he warned., The unemployment rates have gone up for the sixth month running, and this has taken place because the Government has lost touch with the economic situation.
Gonzi follows “electoral deadlines, rather than national deadlines”.
Despite the reduction of the tax band, the Government has been collecting more taxes than ever before to make good for them., “The electoral pledge to reduce tax bands has to be implemented immediately and fully, not like the half-baked measure announced in the 2013 over the span of three years,” he insisted.
Whoever makes a single computation for people between 15,000 and 19,000 would now have to pay taxes.
When Gonzi was asked about whether people with a minimum wage will pay tax, he denied it.
But he was caught out by the Opposition and had to admit it. The tax on the minimum wage, on itself, is a good enough reason to vote against it,” he insisted.
The Government has known for some time that the Budget would not have passed, and should not have led to this precipice. “We will vote against the Budget as we do not trust Gonzi. However out of a sense of National Unity, we will keep the framework of the current budget.
“He hope that the Government has negotiated the 2013 Budget with the EU as is expected of it,” he warned., “If the Government will play the partisan trick of suspending the COLA and other social payments while at the same time getting all its revenue from the day of the Budget, a new Labour Government will give these payments retroactively from 1 January 2013,” Muscat pledged.
Muscat reiterated the accusation he made that in the Government would raise the retirement age from 65 to 67 after the next general election. The only point on which we differ on this Budget is the taxation of minimum wage earners. A new Labour Government will remove this anomaly.
At first the Government was claiming that it would produce a surplus, “however the fiscal situation has not improved. “The Government has now claimed that wanted to reduce the social deficit, however more than 40,000 people are now on the benchmark of poverty,” he warned.
The Nationalist Government has made a mess of its energy policy, first opting for gas, then heavy fuel oil,” he insisted. “We will implement a coherent and sustainable energy policy that includes both fossil as well as alternative energy methods to reach the reduction of 20% of traditional energy source to renewable ones by 2020.
“We have pledged to reduce the electricity tariffs, and from day one, a New Labour Government will work steadfastly to implement this pledge,” he insisted., “The PM is curious to know our plans, but I do not trust him and will not reveal our plans before the electoral campaign,” Muscat said sarcastically. “When his ‘best buddy’ – Nationalist Deputy Leader Simon Busuttil, who has confirmed that he will draft the electoral programme for the forthcoming General Elections as he did for the last General Elections on 8 March 2008 -- was asked to reveal how a new PN government will implement its own pledge to reduce power tariffs, he only said that he would announce it in the right time,” he insisted.