Nationalists would implement transparent digital public procurement system

PN outlines proposals to consolidate Maltese economy and create new sectors

PN leader Simon Busuttil (centre) outside the Central Bank
PN leader Simon Busuttil (centre) outside the Central Bank

A new Nationalist administration would see that all public procurement is processed through a digital platform, party leader Simon Busuttil announced this afternoon. 

“[It] will ensure full justice and transparency, and see to it that all government payments take place in an immediate manner,” Busuttil said, adding that it would ensure that a situation where the winner of a tender is known before the tender is published, is a thing of the past.  

The PN leader was speaking at a press conference where announced two sets of the proposals: priorities intended to consolidate the Maltese economy, and new economic sectors that would be targeted by the PN in government. 

Economic Consolidation

1.      Busuttil said that work would immediately start on restoring Malta’s reputation abroad as transparent and just jurisdiction for foreign investors and businesses.

2.      The PN leader said that as things stand, the financial services sector was hanging by a thread, with “the world” currently waiting on Malta’s decision on 3 June, and that a PN government would immediately get to work on consolidating the sector.

3.      A third priority for the PN would be Air Malta. Busuttil said that he would see to it that the airline is kept, insisting that Malta could not rely on the private sector for transportation to the island. Busuttil emphasised that what was important was that the government was in a position to take decisions on the airline, insisting that it was possible for government to make decisions despite holding only 1% of shares.

4.      A PN government would help the private sector upgrade its telecommunications networks and shift to ultra-high speed connectivity.

5.      A logistics sector that would exploit Malta’s position as well as bring together a number of existing sectors such as aviation and maritime, risk management, supply chain and others.

6.      Strengthening and broadening of the maritime sector. Busuttil said that a PN government would “create a climate where services related to the maritime sector are taken to the next level”.

7.      Digital procurement system

8.      A commitment to purchasing up to 25% of the services it uses from Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

9.      Implementation of measures to “attack” the black market, including items entering and leaving the country without being registering or having tax paid on it.

New Sectors

Busuttil accused the government of achieving success by cutting “low hanging fruit”, insisting that the difficulty lay in “planting seeds” that would eventually flourish into thriving sectors. 

According to the PN leader, a government led by him would create the best possible “climate and legal framework” for the Fintech industry to flourish and would be setting up a €200 million fund to ensure its success.

“We will make Malta a leader in the region for the Fintech sector, a sector that combines financial services and informatics,” he said. 

Moreover, he said that an international digital media cluster would be established which would bring together enough companies to attract investment in media content and creative design among others. 

Efforts would also be made for sports to flourish as an economic sector that brings together education, tourism, sports medicine and marketing among others. A fund would be established to encourage investment in the sector.

Furthermore, a PN government would seek to attract the headquarters of charity organisations, NGOs and other international organisations.  

“We will establish a social enterprise fund to give capital to new projects in this sector,” he said. 

The internet of things was another sector Busuttil said a PN administration would seek to establish in Malta. 

“We will create an urban environment that will exploit the internet of things, where the objects we use every day would be connected to the internet and be able to send data in a way that will improve people’s quality of life,” said Busuttil. 

Finally, he said that the efforts would be made to tap into the blockchain and crowdfunding sectors through the setting up of a regulatory framework.

Asked about the fact that the PN’s proposed tax cuts will not affect the lowest earning in society, Busuttil pointed out that those in the lowest tax bracket already did not pay any tax. 

“Those on the minimum wage already pay zero tax, so when we are reducing tax on those making up to €20,000 we are targeting a band that is earning more than the minimum wage,” said Busuttil. 

“This is an important band. Don’t forget that there are a few thousand people on the minimum wage, but the through this measure we are targeting 121,000 people.”