Muscat pins hopes on EU-approved budget

Opposition leader says he is not painting himself in a corner by committing himself to Nationalists' 'electoral budget'.

Joseph Muscat says taking on the next budget's positive measures has put many people's minds at rest.
Joseph Muscat says taking on the next budget's positive measures has put many people's minds at rest.

Labour leader Joseph Muscat has defended his stated position to take up the positive aspects of this week's government budget, which is widely expected to set the tone of the PN's electoral programme if Lawrence Gonzi's government does not survive a vote on 10 December.

"Our position is a responsible one... it does have its burdens, but it brings stability and certainty to the country," Muscat said.

The Opposition leader said he hoped that with the European Union's own monitoring of the next budget - which now has to be green-lit by the European Commission if it is to respect deficit-reduction targets - there was no "danger" of Labour having to keep promises that were too onerous.

"I have faith in the way the EU works, and that the government cannot make certain promises without the blessing of the EU," Muscat said.

With Nationalist MP Franco Debono planning to vote against the budget, Lawrence Gonzi's government could be set to dissolve parliament and announce general elections for 2013.

Muscat has vowed to vote against the budget on 10 December, but if elected in 2013 he will commit himself to maintain all positive budget measures.

Speaking on the PL's One Radio, former l-orizzont editor Frans Ghirxi asked him whether he was painting himself in a corner by committing himself to an "electoral budget" that could be too generous.

"Firstly my primary assumption is that, even in normal circumstances, this budget would be approved and that we would go for elections with an approved budget," Muscat said referring to government's now fragile majority - which depends on the vote of independent MP Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando.

"This is not a matter anymore of who wins the general election. I am conscious that the government might be laying some trap... but I am confident that Labour is able to deliver on its promises, while 'GonziPN' does not keep its promises. There should be no dangers as long as this budget is guided by the EU. And I understand this budget has been vetted by the Commission."

Cue a challenging question from Ghirxi: "so why should anyone vote for you if you are going to take on this budget anyway?"

To that, Muscat said it would be irresponsible of him to take away measures that the Nationalist government might be introducing to certain social groups, that might have been pending since four years.

"People should choose Labour because this government does not deliver on its promises... we are able to give people the budget without taking it away from them. How could I take away something from people who are waiting for a break since this government was re-elected? If they get a tax cut I am not going to take it away from them.

"I am totally positive about this. It's the situation the country wants, and many buinsess-people have told me this decision has put their minds at rest."

More in Budget 2013
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Once again Joseph Muscat has shown how politically savvy and mature he is. By his statement he is putting all the burden on the PN not to include electoral handout gimmicks in today's budget which would surely be blackballed after scrutiny by the EU. At the same time he is reassuring the electorate that any fair,just and economically beneficial measures will be retained by the PL in the interest of stability and continuity.
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Joseph Muscat "will commit himself to maintain ALL positive budget measures."
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@toni botta mela kemm ilek rieqed
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JM says ""I have faith in the way the EU works, " u-turn ta JM mela issa nessa kemm kien jajd kontr l-EU issa jemmen jew ghax forsi mela buttu meta kien jahdem Brussels, warra kollox kien l-ewwel wiehed mil kamp tal-PL li tefa in-nomina tieghu ghall MEP warra ir-referendum "This is not a matter anymore of who wins the general election".....le tridx tmur illek tokrob u tuza lill JPO u lill FD biex iwaqqu il-gvern, kemm il vot ta fidducja resaq bis-sahha ta FD u JPO il-PL din is-sena kontra MP nazzjionalisti......Giddeb u iktar gideb "People should choose Labour because this government does not deliver on its promises".....kemm qeddien sew skond JM ghandi nivotta labour ghax il-gvern naqas milli iwettaq il promises kolla tieghu, veru imma dan il-gvern ghandu record ta turizmu, ta l-impieg u ta ekonomija stabli dan kollu meta f'pajjiezi ohra in-nies johorgu jiprotestaw fit-toroq "Muscat has vowed to vote against the budget on 10 December, but if elected in 2013 he will commit himself to maintain all positive budget measures."....mhux ovja il-PL ma ghandux idea kief se imexxi il-pajjiez warra l-elezjioni ghax hela 25 sena jara kief se jhameg il-ministri nazzjionalista u il-gvern. illum il-gurnata naqa pjan ma ghandu . mhux ta b'xejn irridu nistennew sa kemm tihabbar l-elezjioni biex nisimu fuq il proposti ta JM halli imbaghad il-poplu ikollu erbgha gimgaht biss biex jahseb fuq dak kollu li jigi imwieghed u forsi mhux kulhadt jintnebah bil gimmick ta JM u il-PL
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JM says ""I have faith in the way the EU works, " u-turn ta JM mela issa nessa kemm kien jajd kontr l-EU issa jemmen jew ghax forsi mela buttu meta kien jahdem Brussels, warra kollox kien l-ewwel wiehed mil kamp tal-PL li tefa in-nomina tieghu ghall MEP warra ir-referendum "This is not a matter anymore of who wins the general election".....le tridx tmur illek tokrob u tuza lill JPO u lill FD biex iwaqqu il-gvern, kemm il vot ta fidducja resaq bis-sahha ta FD u JPO il-PL din is-sena kontra MP nazzjionalisti......Giddeb u iktar gideb "People should choose Labour because this government does not deliver on its promises".....kemm qeddien sew skond JM ghandi nivotta labour ghax il-gvern naqas milli iwettaq il promises kolla tieghu, veru imma dan il-gvern ghandu record ta turizmu, ta l-impieg u ta ekonomija stabli dan kollu meta f'pajjiezi ohra in-nies johorgu jiprotestaw fit-toroq "Muscat has vowed to vote against the budget on 10 December, but if elected in 2013 he will commit himself to maintain all positive budget measures."....mhux ovja il-PL ma ghandux idea kief se imexxi il-pajjiez warra l-elezjioni ghax hela 25 sena jara kief se jhameg il-ministri nazzjionalista u il-gvern. illum il-gurnata naqa pjan ma ghandu . mhux ta b'xejn irridu nistennew sa kemm tihabbar l-elezjioni biex nisimu fuq il proposti ta JM halli imbaghad il-poplu ikollu erbgha gimgaht biss biex jahseb fuq dak kollu li jigi imwieghed u forsi mhux kulhadt jintnebah bil gimmick ta JM u il-PL
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JM says ""I have faith in the way the EU works, " u-turn ta JM mela issa nessa kemm kien jajd kontr l-EU issa jemmen jew ghax forsi mela buttu meta kien jahdem Brussels, warra kollox kien l-ewwel wiehed mil kamp tal-PL li tefa in-nomina tieghu ghall MEP warra ir-referendum "This is not a matter anymore of who wins the general election".....le tridx tmur illek tokrob u tuza lill JPO u lill FD biex iwaqqu il-gvern, kemm il vot ta fidducja resaq bis-sahha ta FD u JPO il-PL din is-sena kontra MP nazzjionalisti......Giddeb u iktar gideb "People should choose Labour because this government does not deliver on its promises".....kemm qeddien sew skond JM ghandi nivotta labour ghax il-gvern naqas milli iwettaq il promises kolla tieghu, veru imma dan il-gvern ghandu record ta turizmu, ta l-impieg u ta ekonomija stabli dan kollu meta f'pajjiezi ohra in-nies johorgu jiprotestaw fit-toroq "Muscat has vowed to vote against the budget on 10 December, but if elected in 2013 he will commit himself to maintain all positive budget measures."....mhux ovja il-PL ma ghandux idea kief se imexxi il-pajjiez warra l-elezjioni ghax hela 25 sena jara kief se jhameg il-ministri nazzjionalista u il-gvern. illum il-gurnata naqa pjan ma ghandu . mhux ta b'xejn irridu nistennew sa kemm tihabbar l-elezjioni biex nisimu fuq il proposti ta JM halli imbaghad il-poplu ikollu erbgha gimgaht biss biex jahseb fuq dak kollu li jigi imwieghed u forsi mhux kulhadt jintnebah bil gimmick ta JM u il-PL
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Joseph Muscat is unbelievably naive if he thinks the Budget will contain any negative measures. Everybody knows that ALL measures will be positive so a future Labour government will have to implement them all and will be effectively carrying out the PN's agenda.