[WATCH] Nationalist Party launches manifesto for ‘socially just, corruption-free’ Malta

PN launches manifesto, also approved by the Partit Demokratiku, with over 500 proposals which the coalition is campaigning on

Nationalist Party leader Simon Busuttil
Nationalist Party leader Simon Busuttil
Nationalist Party launches manifesto for a socially just Malta, free of corruption

The Nationalist Party (PN) General Council this evening approved three electoral manifestos for the forthcoming election. PN leader Simon Busuttil said the Forza Nazzjonali coalition, which includes Marlene Farrugia’s Partit Demokratiku, through its manifestos was putting forward over 500 proposals for the country.

The first of the manifestos is a general manifesto while the second includes a collection of proposals for Gozo and the third deals with the needs of the country’s youths.

Busuttil said that while there were many proposals that were worth mentioning, there were ten in particular which he said he particularly fond of.

The first of these proposals, he said was to clean up Maltese politics once and for and to ensure that nobody could ever commit abuses that would drag the country’s reputation through the mud.

Secondly, he said the PN was pledging to create 30,000 quality jobs that would serve to elevate employment conditions around the island.

The PN’s proposals to offer a 10% income tax rate to self-employed workers and small-time retailers on their first €50,000 in profits, as well as the pledge to reduce income tax to 10% for all workers earning up to €20,000 showed the PN was serious about social solidarity.

“This is what social solidarity looks like, not the blab la of the champagne socialist,” he said.

He said the PN was also pledging to give Zonqor point and White Rocks back to the people.

On traffic, he said a revolution was needed to address the traffic problem and that the time had come for a PN government to implement an alternative transport system that would be more worth using than a car.

Furthermore, the PN leader said a government led by himself would reduce the price of fuel by 5c per litre and would see to it that the price remains below the European average as long as the PN is in power.

The Labour Party, he said, had done been right to introduce free childcare for workers and added that he was happy that the PN was now proposing for this to be extended to free childcare for all.

Finally, he said that the PN also appreciated the elderly in society and would be introducing a substantial increase in the pensions as well as offering free medicine to those that needed it.

Turning to reports of Russian interference in Maltese politics, Busuttil said that the level to which Muscat had descended was ridiculous. According to Busuttil people go through different stages with politicians, where what initially benefit of the doubt and slowly lose patience.

He said that “We are now in the final phase were people start to ridicule you because they are fed up,” said Busuttil, adding that had the Prime Minister been serious about his position, he would first have waited for the result of the inquiry before calling an election.

He warned that if Muscat were to be re-elected the country’s institutions would grind to a halt and there would be almost no chance of any action being taken following the results of the inquiry.

Busuttil said the magistrate had stopped short of saying the inquiry would definitely be published after the election, but had stressed that it was a very delicate and complex matter that needed its time.

He questioned whether, had Malta been any other European country, Keith Schembri and Joseph Muscat would still be in their place.

“They have lost every sense of shame standards and decency to do what is right.” “Seeing as they have lost, we must be the ones to take action on the 3 June.”

Busuttil said that on Wednesday morning he had met with a number of practitioners in the financial services sector who he said were terrified at the fact that their sector was hanging by a thread.

“People in the financial services sector feel Joseph Muscat does not have the credibility to clear Malta’s name, and they are right,” he said, adding that the PN would rebuild the country’s reputation.

“I am prepared to do this next month when the sixth month of Malta’s presidency of the European Union comes to an end,” he said. “I will send a clear message that the Maltese people chose Malta, and chose to clear the country’s name and was writing a new chapter in the country’s history.”

Busuttil warned of the ripple effect of the collapse of the sector would on the economy, and the livelihood of those who indirectly depended on the sector.

A manifesto for fighting corruption

Deputy leader Beppe Fenech Adami said that the manifesto was based on the PN’s promise to fight corruption.

“With Simon Busuttil as Prime Minister we will have a government that practices an honest type of politics,” he said, adding that on the 4 June the country will once again have accountability, transparency and meritocracy.

He said the first decisions taken by a PN government would be to appoint a new Police Commissioner, who will have the responsibility of “reinstating a sense of pride” within the police force, and who would embark on an investigation into the “corruption” that had brought the country to its present state.

Fenech Adami said the PN had pledged that it would do things differently to the way they were done by Muscat and would ensure that that which “was not perfect” the last time the PN was in government, is corrected.  

Above all, he said the Muscat administration was characterised by sleaze, mediocrity and an attitude where “everything goes”.

“Joseph Muscat has lowered our standards but Simon Busuttil will raise them,” he said. “One of the crises we have is that people have lost faith in politicians and I am convinced Busuttil will raise standards and bring back ethics that will restore this faith in politics.”

He insisted that was Muscat “has done” in the past four years should never happen again.

“We are in politics to serve and not to act in our own interests,” he said, adding that under a PN administration the time for relatives and friends to be rewarded with government appointments would become a thing of the past.

“We need to get used to the idea that appointments are not presents,” he said, insisting that important positions should be occupied by those who were capable.

For this to happen, he said that appointees would have to go through parliamentary scrutiny so that if a person does not qualify for a post they are not appointed.

Moreover, he said that for an honest politics, party financing laws needed to be updated so that parties would no longer be dependent on third parties.

An economy for the many

Deputy leader Mario De Marco said the PN had shown its commitment towards the country by taking a proactive approach to being in the opposition and had published a number of policy documents.

De Marco accused the Prime Minister of not being honest with the country by flaunting statistics as proof of economic success, insisting however, that many in society were not benefitting from the growth.

“There are more than 120,000 workers that have a wage of less than €20,000 a year,” he said. “Let’s not get in over our heads and think that we had an economy that was good for everyone.”

He said that above all, the PN intended to put the worker at the centre of the country’s economy.

The first priority, he said was to increase the average wage by 25% by adding up to 30,000 high-quality jobs over the next legislature. Moreover, he said that the PN would grow the economy and accumulate wealth, which would in turn be invested in the nation.

“Spending €300 million on pensions is not a waste of money,” said De Marco.

He said the PN would consolidate existing economic sectors like iGaming and Financial services sector, and would also look to create new sectors, something he said the outgoing government had not done.