Gonzi’s electoral tax cuts ‘underestimated people’s altruism’ – Muscat

‘Labour ready to govern whatever happens tomorrow… but don’t give in to provocation’ – Labour leader.

Joseph Muscat addressed his audience in Zabbar.
Joseph Muscat addressed his audience in Zabbar.

Opposition leader Joseph Muscat called on supporters not to give in to any provocation in the wake of a possible budget vote tomorrow that may spell early elections for Lawrence Gonzi's governm

The prime minister tomorrow faces a vote to approve his budget, but Nationalist MP Franco Debono has declared he will not vote in favour of the money bill, which means the Prime Minister will have to dissolve the House and announce elections.

 "Whatever happens tomorrow, we will be serene - serene that every legislature runs its time," Muscat said. "Labour remains united, a team ready for government, with new people who a few years ago would have not dreamt of being with us today, who are ready to give service to this country."

Muscat said Labour will not be "reacting to provocation" tomorrow, sensing the ominous backlash in the wake of Franco Debono's vote against the budget. "We knew that one way or another, what we had predicted would happen," Muscat said of the crisis that has plagued Gonzi's government since Debono announced he was withdrawing his support back in January 2012.

"This is a government that has imploded, moving from one crisis to another. Gonzi wasted this country's time by putting his party before country, Austin Gatt before stability," Muscat said referring to the minister whom Debono said should resign if he was to vote in favour of the budget. "When Gonzi had a choice, faced with this impending turmoil he chose his minister."

Labour will vote against tomorrow's budget, which Muscat has however committed himself to retain all measures save for tax bands which were not adjusted for minimum wage earners.

"This budget is a vote of confidence in this government, and we have no confidence in the prime minister. In principle, we cannot support a budget that makes minimum wage-earners pay tax. For us this is unacceptable."

Muscat's most barbed criticism of the Nationalist budget was when he accused Lawrence Gonzi of "having lost the plot" and of having "underestimated the altruism of Maltese society" with a tax cut for those who earn €19,501-€60,000 who will be paying 25% tax by 2015, down from 35%.

"GonziPN made a social error in its budget. Gonzi tried to appeal to a sense of egoism in those who don't care about the people around them, who don't care about minimum wage-earners. GonziPN has underestimated Maltese society and our families, and the new generation being built in our country where even those who are well-off understand that they can only advance further if the people around them are advancing further. It is this sense of social justice and altruism that is at the heart of every person in Malta."

Muscat took to the podium right after a fiery speech from the veteran Labour MP Joe Debono Grech, whose hot-headed invectives against the Nationalist Party and even former prime minister Eddie Fenech Adami, were the opposite of Muscat's more placid appeals to his audience.

"This is a new page in Maltese political history. Never before was there a movement ready for government with such a wide cross-section of people. Labour has understood that the time of yesterday's parties, is over. The time of tribal politics is over. We are one family, and we face enormous challenges ahead of us - challenges we can face with enthusiasm, energy and will.

"Our real aim is to build a new middle class in our country, a new middle class of people who want to work more and at the end of the year realize that they have provided more for their family, and even allowed themselves the luxury of a spending spree for their children, why not?"

Muscat also laid into the Nationalist government's abuse of personal data of civil service workers, following the publication of an anonymous letter to public sector workers warning them against voting for the Labour government.

Joseph Sant
Sur jew Sinjura fenea: Dr Muscat qal ezattament l-oppost ta' dak li int qed tahseb li qal. Toffendix ruhek, imma nahseb li ma tantx tifhmu l-Ingliz. Sak li qal Joseph (skond ir-rapport)kien li Dr Gonzi haseb li billi naqqas it-taxxa ghal min jaqla' hafna, dawn kienu ser ikunu kuntenti u jivvutawlu. Imma n-nies ghandhom fihom aktar sens ta' gustizzja socjali milli jahseb Dr Gonzi. Anke min tnaqqsitlu t-taxxa jaf li kien hazin li nies li jaqilghu l-anqas ser ikunu intaxxati. Dak hu li qal Joseph ghaziz fenea. Ma semma' l-ebda mibgheda - anzi semma' biss solidarjeta u altruismu minn ta' fuq ghal ta' taht. Issa jekk trid tifhem ifhem, jekk le, ghamel fattik.
@ fenea. X'mibeghda qed tohlom biha bejn il klassi tal haddiema? Meta l-partit laburista dahhal, il pensjoni, il-paga minima, il bonus, il leave, is sick leave, saturday's off, children allowance, u kull servizz socjali li illum niehdu for granted, dahhalhpm ghal kullhadd, taqla kemm taqla paga, dejjem naturalment bil partit nazzjonalista jivvota kontra. Ara dan il budget tal partit nazzjonalista ippropona li inaqqas it taxxa ghal min jaqlaha sew u intaxxa lil min jaqla paga minima. Min qed jizra l-firda socjali?
sur muscat skond kliemek kull min jaqla aktar min €19,501 mhux qed jimpurtah minn min jaqla ftit. dan mhuwiex il kaz. inti bhal kull gvern laburista tal passat qed tipprova terga idahhal il mibgheda bejn il klassi tal haddiema maltin. jekk dan isir l-ekonomija tal pajjiz terga tmur il bahar. Il bands ta taxxa ghal min jaqla ftit gew irrangata ghal sena wara l-ohra, filwaqt li ghal dawk li mhux b'kapricc jaqilaw hafna ghax jahdmu aktar il band tat taxxa baqghet dejjem gholja. ghalhekk kien wasal iz zmien li din titnizzel xi ftit. jekk jogbok tergax tizra il mibgheda bejn il klassi tal haddiema ghax din fil passat dizastru fil pajjix gabet. kull malti li jahdem hu min hu ghandu bzonn wiehed lil iehor.