Majority disagree with sale of Maltese citizenship, show strong support for road widening

56.3% of survey respondents disagreed with the Individual Investor Programme, while 79.4% agreed with the strategy to widen roads

People are unconvinced by the sale of Maltese passports to wealthy foreigners with a MaltaToday survey finding that 56.3% disagree with the Individual Investor Programme.

Introduced five years ago in a storm of controversy and trumpeted as a money-making venture for the country, the government has failed to convince people on the IIP.

Asked whether they agree with the sale of Maltese citizenship to wealthy foreigners, only 33.5% agreed.

As expected, the strongest disagreement is among people who voted for the Nationalist Party in the 2017 general election with 85.3% against. 9.8% of PN voters agree.

However, there are also 31.4% of Labour Party voters, who disagree with the passport-for-cash scheme. A majority of PL voters (55.7%) agree.

The survey found that the strongest disagreement with the IIP was among those aged between 18 and 35, where disagreement runs at 65.7%.

Disagreement runs across Malta and Gozo except the South-Eastern region where the result is neck and neck. While 43.9% of people in the south east agree, 43.7% disagree.

The survey polled people on four government decisions that were under the spotlight over the past few weeks and the results are a mixed bag.

Polling took place between 26 September and 3 October.

The IIP was at the centre of controversy after a French TV sting recorded one of the passport agents boasting about his close connections with people in power and how authorities can close an eye. The agent’s licence has been suspended and all his applications, past and present, are being probed.

Helena Dalli and road projects get thumbs up

Another issue that cropped up was the nomination of former minister Helena Dalli as Malta’s next European Commissioner.

The survey found that 57.4% of voters agreed with Dalli’s choice, while 14.5% opposed it.

A significant number (28.1%) were unable to express an opinion on Dalli’s nomination, or simply did not care.

Among PL voters, 82.2% agreed with the nomination, 15.5% were unsure, and 2.3% disagreed.

PN voters were lukewarm about the matter. While 33.3% of PN voters agreed with Dalli’s nomination, 29.4% disagreed, and 37.3% were unsure or did not care.

Agreement with her nomination was higher among women (62.3%) than men (51.5%).

Another government decision that came under the spotlight this summer was the policy to widen main roads and build new ones.

But despite protests in Attard and Santa Luċija against planned roadworks in these localities, the road-widening policy enjoys overwhelming support among the electorate.

The survey found that 79.4% of people agreed with the strategy to widen main roads and build new ones, with opposition running at lowly 15.3%.

Support for the policy cuts across all age groups. Agreement runs above 72% in all regions with the strongest support registering in Gozo and the South-Eastern region, with 93.3% and 90.5% respectively.

No foreign teachers

The fourth decision, or rather intention, to come under the spotlight was the declaration that foreign supply teachers may have to be recruited to fill vacancies in State schools.

The survey found that any such decision is opposed by the majority. The findings show that 55% disagree with the employment of foreign teachers, while 39% agree.

Opposition to the suggestion is highest among PN voters, where 67.7% disagree. But even among Labour voters, disagreement runs at a high 44.3%, with a slim majority of 50.8% expressing themselves in favour of such a decision.

The only region where agreement runs into a majority is Gozo with 46.5% in favour and 38.4% against. In all other regions, disagreement ranges from 50% in the South-Eastern to 60% in the Northern region.

Methodology

The survey was carried out between Thursday 26 September and Thursday 3 October, 2019. 652 respondents opted to complete the telephone survey. Stratified random sampling based on gender, region and age was used to replicate the Maltese demographics. The estimated margin of error is 5% for a confidence interval of 95%. Demographic and sub-group breakdowns have a larger margin of error.

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