Budget fails to reduce dependency on tourism and construction, ADPD says

ADPD says budget is symptomatic of a governmeny with 'a blurred and conflicting vision'

ADPD says budget has done little to reduce dependence on tourism and construction
ADPD says budget has done little to reduce dependence on tourism and construction

ADPD has criticised the government for failing to reduce Malta’s economic dependency on tourism and construction.

The party said Budget 2021 retained the past focus on these two sectors and failed to put forward proposals that improved the quality of life.

“On the construction sector, the government has given the impression that it is ready to leave everything as it is, to the detriment of the quality of life of people living in the perpetual shadow of construction, even if they are risking their lives,” ADPD said.

The party said that while the budget gave the impression it was offering aid, through various incentives, it simultaneously, hurt several important sectors, particularly, agriculture.

“While the government has announced some incentives that are inherently good, it continues to insist on sacrificing a lot of agricultural land and killing the livelihoods of many farmers in order to satisfy the craving for more roads and roundabouts which will further aggravate the poor air quality caused by the number of cars on the road,” the party said.

Biodiversity 

Similarly, ADPD said that while the government prided itself on a pro-biodiversity strategy, as it stands, Malta has the greatest threat to biodiversity in the world, which is the result of a lack of serious planning. “There is hardly any biodiversity left to protect,” it said.

The party also pointed out that while the government boasted of giving public land in Ta' Qali to the public, it had at the same time “stolen” extensive lands in Aħrax and Miżieb and handed them over to hunters.

Malta-Gozo tunnel project and climate change

ADPD said that while climate change was mentioned in the budget, the government had in the last five years failed to successfully start implementing policies in line with the Paris Convention. “A prudent approach implies a policy of reducing road vehicles rather than a policy of accommodating more traffic through monstrous projects such as the Central Link project,” the party added.

The party said that it was clear the government did not have the necessary political and environmental vision. ADPD also said that regarding the tunnel between Malta and Gozo, the government now seemed to recognise that the project may not be feasible, acknowledging that the solutions to better connectivity where a fast ferry service and a fourth ship for Gozo Channel.

Waste incinerator project

The party said the government’s insistence that a new waste incinerator needs to be built will undermine recycling efforst. The party said an incineration plant depended on a substantial amount of waste to be viable. “Once again, it is clear that there is no clear direction for our country. It is worth mentioning that the government has failed to reach the target of 55% of recycled waste by 2020,” ADPD said.

Workers rights and good governance  

ADPD said that while the government has said they will increase surveillance at workplaces to ensure workers are not being exploited, the budget failed to include adequate mechanisms to reduce exploitation, particularly with migrant workers.

“All in all, even if there are positive measures, this budget gives the impression of a government with a blurred and conflicting vision... there is a sea of difference between government's words and its deeds,” ADPD said, accusing the government of paying lip service to the environment and a good quality of life.

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