[WATCH] AD raises questions about PL and PN financing

AD candidate Carmel Cacopardo insists Labour and PN should be transparent about financing, says both receive services for free in return for favorable treatment.

Alternattiva Demokratika chairperson Michael Briguglio and candidates Ralph Cassar, Carmel Cacopardo and Angele Deguara.
Alternattiva Demokratika chairperson Michael Briguglio and candidates Ralph Cassar, Carmel Cacopardo and Angele Deguara.

Alternattiva Demokratika candidate Carmel Cacopardo hit out at both the Labour Party and the Nationalist Party for their reluctance to be transparent about where their financing is coming from.

He was speaking during a press conference at the Osborn Hotel in Valletta on Saturday morning, which dealt with AD's proposals for the environmental sector.

Cacopardo, flanked by AD chairman Michael Briguglio, hit out at both the PN and the PL for "being in the developers pockets" which he insisted "is clear given the proposals they are coming out with which are clearly aimed at agevolating the  development industry."

Cacopardo also insisted that the situation on party financing is such that both parties are able to back particular companies and operators in such a way as to make good for services that they do not pay for.

Asked to qualify his statement by the media, Cacopardo referred to the manner in which the MFCC tent space in Ta' Qali was tendered out to a private company.

He said that the tendering process was amended in a particular way last year as to allow the removal of a €1.2 million bank guarantee, which was previously one of the conditions for the tender.

This means that a condition whereby a successful bidder was required to pay a hefty €1.2 million bank guarantee to make use of the public land, was removed.

This, he said, was done in a parliamentary committee with the unanimous consent of both sides of the house.

He added that the company which benefited is the same company that is regularly providing both parties with services related to tents which are being frequently used during the ongoing electoral campaign.

Cacopardo challenged both parties to "come clean about the reason why the bank guarantee was removed," and also challenged them to present the fiscal receipts which show that they have been paying for be services that they receive.

Questioned by the media, Cacopardo insisted that he has information that proves that both parties are not paying for the service.

 

AD's press conference was characterized by several attacks at the environmental credibility of the PN and the PL, which Briguglio insisted "are engaged in an electoral auction of who can accommodate the most people."

During the press conference, Brigulgio and Cacopardo highlighted several proposals from the environmental sector from AD's manifesto.

"In our manifesto, environmental proposals are streamlined into all other chapters. For us, the environment is not only a slogan to be rolled out in the run up to the election, only to be forgotten weeks later. It is one of the pillars of our manifesto, and all the topics it touches upon."

Briguglio pledged that having AD in parliament would mean that all existing laws would be properly enforced, that Malta's dwindling water resources are safeguarded, and that "air quality becomes more than just an electoral gimmick."

He especially called on both the PN and the PL to be clear why they are not paying any attention to Malta's water crisis, and insisted that only AD can speak freely about environmental issues because "we are free from the big developers."

"Instead of telling us how they will protect the environment, they are talking about amnesties. It is shameful how the parties are doing everything they can to agevolate developers which have already wrought considerable environmental depredation."

He also pledged that with AD in parliament, certain controversial developments, such as the Hondoq Ir-Rummien proposed project, would be halted in their tracks before they gets any further.

He added that at the same time, AD would ensure that other less controversial projects would nevertheless be subject to a local referendum, to ensure that the will of the people affected by the project is respected.

Briguglio also pledged that AD would ensure that the practice whereby MEPA planning board members are appointed directly by a minister would cease, and that such appointments would be made by parliament.

This, he said would involve intense grilling of all candidates by MPs, which he said would ensure not only capable and qualified candidates, but also candidates of the fitting integrity and background.

Briguglio also took both the PL and the PN to task over how they are talking about reforming MEPA without ever mentioning its leadership.

"We want MEPA to be truly free from political interference," adding that it should also have representatives from civil society, not only Environmental NGOs but also other stakeholders.

"The other parties are simply promising cosmetic changes. We want to bring the environmental sector from second division to the premier league," Brigulgio announced.

In his own address, Cacopardo also spoke of the need to unify MEPA's fragmented enforcement and water-preservation functions.

He also described as "madness" Labour's proposal to unify sustainable development with planning, insisting that sustainable development touches upon many more sectors than development, such as even health and education.

He also emphasized the need for Malta to begin seriously addressing issues such as light and noise pollution.

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Il-partit laburista kien investa u ghandi t-tined tieghu.Jekk hawn xi hadd li qed jehodom b xejn zgur mhuwiex il-PL.Cocopardo Missu jaf iktar ta kif jahdem il-partit nazzjonalista ghax kien ufficjal maghhom.
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Michael ask the PN why they have shelved the party financing act. You know that this act is top on the PL agenda.
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I suppose the money will come from our taxes. So why put stupid questions?
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Luke Camilleri
Concentrate on the PN Dear AD! They are the ones who have the Power of Incumbency... go on cruises in the Mediterranean with High Profile Party Benefactors, and JET SETTING to watch overseas football matches! THE JS LIST and their "HAFNA MINN GHAND IL-FTIT" collection campaigns are well known ASK FRANCO DEBONO!
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Apart from the loss and abusive use of public funds and property by the PN & PL, as pointed out by Carmel Cacopardo & AD it is also pertinent to point out that even when a commodity or service is given 'free of charge', the VAT regulations require that VAT is charged on the arm's length value of such commodity or service. Thus apart from abuse of public funds/property we also have to deal with a breach of VAT law.