[WATCH] Delia: Budget confirms the government ‘has no plan’

The Labour administration’s budget is evidence that the government has ‘no plan for Malta’, according to opposition leader Adrian Delia

Opposition leader Adrian Delia (Photo: DOI)
Opposition leader Adrian Delia (Photo: DOI)

Budget 2018 did not adequately address pensions, traffic and infrastructure, tourism and education, according to Opposition leader Adrian Delia in his first official reaction follow the budget presentation.

On pensions, Delia said the government did not focus on the second pillar of healthcare. “The government left them where they were. The Nationalist party will see that pensioners are treated as a resource, not a burden,” he continued.

The newly sworn in Opposition leader also said that the seven-year road plan touted by the government is being implemented poorly, with no concrete plan as to how the seven years are to be spread out.

“What is the definitive plan for traffic congestion?” he asked.

Delia went on to highlight the crisis in the education system, insisting that the government failed to address the teacher and LSA shortage.

On tourism, Delia said that this year’s budget did not address Air Malta. He once again criticised tourism minister Konrad Mizzi for shutting down concerns from the industry’s cabin crew.

The Labour administration’s proposals have been repeated from one year to the next, Delia continued. The Kirkop health centre proposed by the government in the 2017 budget, for instance, has once again cropped up in the 2018 budget.

The Opposition also accused the government of having no concrete plan to tackle traffic congestion.

Despite the critiques, the Opposition said that it is ready to help the government create and implement a concrete plan for the country.

“We’re ready to help the government prioritize the environment, worker’s rights and jobs. We’re ready to help the government with rent prices, to decrease crime and to address the challenge of traffic,” Delia said.

The Opposition praised some of the government’s incentives, describing the state’s proposition to add an extra leave day, its plan to give free transport to church and private schools and €10,000 to adoptive parents as “positive plans”.

Delia also said that the government failed to address the sports sector, the middle class, and farmers and fishermen. Local councils were also nowhere to be found in this year's budget, he said.

"How are we going to fight crime?" he asked. "We once said that Malta is the safest place on Earth. Studies are now showing that Malta is on its way to become the centre for modern slavery. How was this addressed in the budget?"

The state also failed to point out the surplus from the IIP scheme and concrete energy plans. “We need to talk about where Malta is going to be 20 years from now,” he insisted.

Malta’s debt has gone up by €1,000 million in the last five years. COLA prices have not increased, Delia continued. “In whose pockets is the surplus going?” he asked.

Asked by MaltaToday on what the Opposition would have done with the surplus, Delia said it was not in the hands of the Opposition to tell the government what to do with the increase.