[WATCH] PN pledges 30,000 new jobs, annual surplus

Simon Busuttil says jobs pledge will see average wages in Malta rise by up to 30%

PN leader Simon Busuttil (File photo)
PN leader Simon Busuttil (File photo)

A Nationalist government will create 30,000 high-paying jobs within five years, PN leader Simon Busuttil has pledged.

Addressing a press conference on the coast of Ta' Xbiex, Busuttil said that all these jobs will be created in the private sector and that they will see the average salary rate in Malta shoot up by between 25-30%.

When asked by MaltaToday where the human capital will come from, given Malta’s low unemployment rate, Busuttil was inconclusive – merely saying that they will be taken up by youths graduating from university.

Busuttil also said that a PN government will commit itself to registering a budget surplus every year, and will introduce a clause within the Constitution that will oblige governments to present balanced budgets barring exceptional circumstances.

It will also seek to cut away at the national debt in real terms and update laws regulating the financial services, gaming, aviation and marine sectors to "stay ahead of the curve".

Busuttil also said that he will appoint a special Brexit envoy and set up an economic council that will advise him on the long-term economic repercussions of government policies.

Most crucially, the PN leader repeatedly stressed that he will seek to rebuild Malta’s international reputation – which he said has taken a severe knock due to corruption at the heart of the Labour government.

“Joseph Muscat has wasted the opportunity presented to him by Malta’s EU presidency. The world’s eyes aren’t on us because of the presidency, but because we are in the middle of an election campaign, which is very rare for a country with the presidency.”

He warned that the fate of key industries in Malta, including the financial services, gaming and construction industries, is hanging in the balance and that a Labour election victory could see several companies relocate to other countries.

“The 22,000 people who work in financial services now that their jobs depend on Malta’s international reputation and that their jobs are hanging in the balance,” he said. “If Joseph Muscat wins the election, then financial services companies will take it as a sign that we have chosen the path of corruption.”