[WATCH] PN pledges retirement bonus for government workers but presents no costings yet

Bernard Grech unveils proposals targeting public service workers, promises to cut down money wasted on persons of trust but PN costings will only be out in the coming days

Bernard Grech has pledged an improvement in public service pay scales to attract talent (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)
Bernard Grech has pledged an improvement in public service pay scales to attract talent (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)

All public service workers will be entitled to a tax-exempt one-off bonus when retiring from their government job, Bernard Grech pledged on Monday.

The initiative forms part of a package of proposals in the Nationalist Party’s manifesto intended to improve the conditions of work for public service employees.

However, Grech gave no costings for the measures he listed, adding these will be released in the coming days.

“These proposals will cost money but for us this is not an expenditure but an investment… costings have been done and will be published in the coming days,” he said.

The retirement bonus for public service workers will be equivalent to one-year’s wage and will be implemented immediately, Grech said during a press conference.

“This will be a thank you gesture to those who dedicated their energy in the public service and a proposal that is particularly close to my heart,” Grech said.

A PN government will also revise and improve pay scales of all government employees to better reflect market prices so that the public service can attract talent.

Grech accused the Labour government of side-lining talent to make way for persons of trust. “They promised us meritocracy and delivered nepotism,” he said.

Grech also reiterated a pledge made during his budget reaction speech last year that front line workers in the health and education sectors, and the disciplined forces will be given an allowance equivalent to four weeks’ basic pay.

Grech said the bonus to front liners will be self-sustaining because a PN government will cut down on the number of persons of trust.

A PN government will also strengthen family-friendly measures with a clear weekly entitlement to telework and remote working being implemented within the first six months.
He said public service workers will also be entitled to more sick leave days to take care of their children or relatives who live with them.