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Labour accuses PN of downplaying costs in pensions proposals

Tourism minister Edward Zammit Lewis said that Opposition leader Simon Busuttil was repeatedly showing he was not fit for purpose

paul_cocks
Paul Cocks
11 May 2017, 1:28pm
PL candidate Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi and tourism minister Edward Zammit Lewis
PL candidate Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi and tourism minister Edward Zammit Lewis
A Nationalist Party proposal to raise the minimum national pension at a cost of €8.5 million would in fact cost, at minimum, €18.5 million, and could even end up costing €115 million across the board, tourism minister Edward Zammit Lewis said today. 

The minister, who was addressing a press conference at Labour Party headquarters with party candidate Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi, said that Opposition leader Simon Busuttil was repeatedly showing he was not fit for purpose and would not be a good leader for the country. 

"Busuttil said this morning that a new PN government would raise the minimum pension to €169 weekly, and that 18,000 pensioners would benefit at a cost of €8.5 million," Zammit Lewis said. 

"But a simple computation of the proposal immediately shows that the measure would in fact cost €22.5 million."

He said that Busuttil had also failed to consider the principle of relativity and did not address how other pension schemes could be affected. 

"In fact, if he did, this measure would end up costing €115 million each year," Zammit Lewis said. 

He noted that it was no wonder that Busuttil and the PN were insisting that the election should not be decided on the proposals. 

"Today's assumptions show how Busuttil is not fit to lead the country and is merely trying to one-up the proposal put forward by the Labour Party."

Zrinzo Azzopardi said that the PN was repeatedly refusing to publish details to substantiate the proposals it was presenting, as it did with the proposal to give a €10,000 grant to anyone settling in Gozo or starting a family there. 

"This latest gaffe by the PN leader shows how unprepared he is, even when trying to back up his statements with figures," he said. 

paul_cocks
Paul Cocks joined MaltaToday after having spent years working in newspapers with The Times...