PM: Government did not want to rush ARMS billing reform

Robert Abela said he didn't want to negatively impact certain sectors of society with a rushed reform

Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday
Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday

The Prime Minister Robert Abela has insisted government did not want to rush its reform on ARMS billing, so as not to negatively impact certain sectors of society. 

“We needed to ensure that the new system would not result in sharp increases for certain groups of people,” he said. 

Speaking during government’s post-budget press conference, Abela said the current billing system, created under a Nationalist administration, was underpinned by a legal notice, and so government could not just step in and change the system. 

“We saw a reality that needed changing, and we did just that,” he said. 

Asked on why government did not plan ahead in terms of the COLA, raising it by just €1.75, Abela said a number of government measures helped in addressing the added challenges faced by Maltese families.

“While in previous years inflation was due to government decisions, we did not increase taxes, and increased the tax refund among other measures,” he said. 

On greylisting, the PM said government did not wait for the budget to come around to start implementing the needed reforms, insisting a number of changes were already being carried out. 

He also hit out at Opposition leader Bernard Grech for promising to take Malta off the greylist within 90 days. 

“That is the worst approach possible,” he said.