[WATCH] Muscat says PN costings on taxation proposals 'hilarious'

Labour Party leader Joseph Muscat said that the party would soon publish real workings proving that the Nationalist Party had once again miscalculated how much its proposals would cost

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat addressing a public meeting in Qawra. Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat addressing a public meeting in Qawra. Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday
Muscat says PN costings on taxation proposals 'hilarious'

The Nationalist Party’s proposals on taxation, including reducing income tax to 10% for people who earn less than €20,000, were once again miscalculated and the real costings would prove hilarious, once revealed, prime minister Joseph Muscat said tonight.

The Labour Party leader, who was addressing a public meeting in Qawra, said that the party was going through the numbers presented by opposition leader Simon Busuttil earlier in the day, and that it was obvious that the PN’s miscalculations this time would prove “hilarious”.

He once again reiterated his vow to resign immediately if the inquiring magistrate leading an investigation into allegations that he (Muscat) or his wife owned shares in any secrets company found any hint of evidence proving the claims.

“I am convinced of what I am saying because I know I am saying the truth, since no one would risk his political career if he had any doubts,” Muscat said. “But, with the same measure, opposition leader Simon Busuttil should not continue to say that he did not say this or that, because everybody heard what he said.”

The prime minister said that everyone heard Busuttil claim that “we have learned that the secret Panama company Egrant belongs to the wife of the prime minister”.

“So now if these allegations are found to be nothing but false and a lie, you will have to leave,” he insisted. “Be a man and, if proven to have lied, shoulder your responsibility and leave immediately, whenever it happens, and whatever your position.”

Muscat said he was aware that the Labour Party had made some mistakes in the past four years but insisted that, faced with the alternative leadership of Busuttil and Democratic Party leader Marlene Farrugia, people should choose to give the government another chance to prove it had learned from its its mistakes.

“Give us another to chance to prove how much good we can still for our youth, our pensioners, our workers and all other segments of society,” he urged party supporters.

On the proposals being presented by both parties in the runup to the election, Muscat said that the Labour movement’s proposals for the 3 June poll were all based on a number of core values including social mobility, social justice, equality and unity.

He said the Labour party was intent on proving that all proposals it was putting forward were economically feasible, without placing undue burdens on the man on the street.

With regards to a set of proposals for disabled persons he presented earlier in the day, Muscat said that the government was committed to have an LSA (learning support assistant) available at all times for children suffering from autism, ADHD, and other disabilities.

“We are saying we want to treat disabled persons with dignity, because we believe society owes disabled persons a lot,” he said. “I know that these measures will only affect tens of families, maybe hundreds, but this is in line with our philosophy of tailoring measures and giving money to who really needs it.”

Muscat said that the broad change the government had managed to bring about for disabled persons was evident in having 1,000 disabled persons finding employment in the past four years.

“We managed to give disabled persons – who had never received social justice in their lives – the dignity they deserve and that is theirs by right,” he said.

Muscat said that opposition leader Simon Busuttil was persisting in putting forward so-called ‘original’ proposals that the Labour government had, in fact, already introduced successfully.

“Simon Busuttil said he would make sure disabled persons who continue to work would receive the full disability pension,” he noted. “We agree, so much so, that this measure has been in place for years, as have many other measures he has proposed in the past few days.”

As the crowd jeered and booed when Muscat mentioned Busuttil, the Labour leader warned his supporters that the election would not be won on how much they booed now but on how they voted on the day.

“This is a serious situation that people must consider seriously,” he said. “Are people prepared to put their future, the economy and the country’s stability in the hands of Busuttil and Marlene Farrugia, when the two could not even agree who would speak first when addressing a conference?”

Muscat said that the people’s alternative choice was a steady team that had already successfully proven it could lead a country to success.