[WATCH] PN government will limit positions of trust to 'bare minimum', Busuttil vows

Opposition leader Simon Busuttil has vowed that a new Nationalist government will limit positions of trust to the absolute bare minimum necessary to staff private secretariats

Nationalist Party leader Simon Busuttil
Nationalist Party leader Simon Busuttil
PN government will limit positions of trust to 'bare minimum', Busuttil vows

A new Nationalist government will limit positions of trust to the absolute bare minimum necessary to staff private secretariats, in an effort to introduce real meritocracy in the public sector, Opposition leader Simon Busuttil said this morning. 

"Beyond the minister's private secretariat, public sector workers should be free to compete fairly for any positions based on skills and opportunity," he said. 

Busuttil said he was also looking forward to see how the public react to new electronic platform launched yesterday, through which people will be able to criticise proposals, comment on them and vote on their implementation. 

Individuals are also able to submit proposals for discussion and consideration. 

"And if it is successful, I am prepared to take this platform and implement it in the government's day to day administration," he said. "We already have proposed a system of consultative referenda, but this could mean consulting the citizens every day on every issue. 

Busuttil, who was addressing a press conference at Il-Maqluba in Qrendi on Day 11 of the election campaign, said that a new PN government will exempt all pensions from income tax, as announced in the last Independence Day meeting and as partly adopted by the government in the last budget. 

"We will also raise the minimum national pension to match the national minimum wage, currently set at €169.73 per week, up from €147.23," Busuttil said. "18,000 pensioners will benefit from more than €8 million under this scheme."

The PN leader said that persons who may not have paid their national insurance in full will be able to settle the money due and be able to benefit from a full pension. 

In the case of non-contributory pension, Busuttil said the PN was proposing to raise it to 60% of the national average wage, as is standard in many countries. This will rise to €155.70 per week in a measure that is set to cost €4.5 million. 

"To continue to incentivise elderly people who continue living in their homes, they will receive €500 yearly, instead of the current €300 allowance," Busuttil said. "27,800 elderly people are set to benefit from this measure which will cost €5 million."

He said that a PN government would give widowed housewives the right to receive the full pension that their deceased partner used to receive. At the moment these widows only receive 5/6 of their husband’s pensions. 

Busuttil said that the PN was also committed to raise the pensions of former members of the Police Force and the Armed Forces of Malta in line with the cost of living increase given each year. 

The PN leader said his Party would also start gradually addressing the injustices in the services pensions according to the pensioners' age. 

Pensioners over 80 years of age will receive the full service pension and the full non-contributory pension. 

"This will affect 2,300 pensioners," he said. "Similarly, increases will be issued every five years until it reaches full settlement at 80 years."

This measure alone will cost €22 million. 

Busuttil said that funding for these and other measures would be channelled from money currently being used to finance persons and positions of trust and other measures that currently favoured only a few. 

On the age of retirement, he said it was generally acknowledged, even by the European Commission, that Malta's current system was sustainable. 

The question remained as to whether the system was adequate, and that was the reason behind the proposals the PN was putting forward. 

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