Muscat pledges to implement proposals ‘within budget and on time’

Labour leader Joseph Muscat insists that Labour manifesto is no ‘list of promises’ and pledges to implement ‘within budget and on time’.

PL leader Joseph Muscat has appointed Louis Grech as the person responsible of seeing that the electoral manifesto is implemented within budget and on time. (Photo: Ray Attard/MediaToday)
PL leader Joseph Muscat has appointed Louis Grech as the person responsible of seeing that the electoral manifesto is implemented within budget and on time. (Photo: Ray Attard/MediaToday)

Speaking just minutes before an Extraordinary Labour Party General Conference approved the Labour manifesto for the 2013 election, Labour leader Joseph Muscat underlined Labour's commitment to implementing every proposal contained therein.

"Before us is not simply a list of promises. No. Before us we have a roadmap that is concrete, costed, and realistic," Muscat said, describing the proposals as "a roadmap with 20 priority areas that will reward those who are industrious, those who are willing to work, and will assist those in need."

Muscat also announced that deputy leader Louis Grech would be personally tasked with coordinating efforts to ensure that Labour's electoral proposals are carried out within budget and on time.

"I am convinced that thanks to his vast experience in management, Louis is the best person possible to ensure that the proposals are carried out, to coordinate the work of different Ministries on national projects, and ensure that everything is done within budget and on time," Muscat said.

He added that this responsibility will be "in addition to other responsibilities" that Grech would have.

Muscat also reiterated his position that Labour is not "dabbling in a politic of auctions," saying that the PN had however succumbed to it, pointing to how the PN had first denied that a reduction in energy tariff prices was possible, only to table proposals for these to be reduced at night.

Muscat also said that when the PL had "responsibly" announced its €1.5 million project tablet for schoolchildren proposal, the PN came out with a larger-scale proposal, which he said that the PN has not yet delivered details on.

"If there is to be a competition, this should not be between who can spend the most, but between who can spend in the best way," Muscat said.

Muscat also reacted to statements by PN deputy leader Simon Busuttil during the BA political debate earlier that same day, where Busuttil said that the Labour Party is "using" Labour candidate Deborah Schembri because "she has the face of a Nationalist."

"Not like this, Simon," Muscat said as cameras focused on Schembri herself as she shook her head in disdain.

"When we look ahead, we do not see Nationalists or Labourites. We see our Maltese brethren," Muscat said, pointing towards his own politically mixed family.

"When I look upon my mother, I do not see a traditional Nationalist voter. When I look upon my father, I do not see a traditional Labour voter," he said.

"Let us cut the cord with the politics of the past. Let us see each other as Maltese and Gozitans like us," as the crowds erupted in resounding applause.

Throughout the event, Muscat referred to several proposals that the Labour Party unveiled over the first four weeks of the campaign, such as the free childcare proposal, free tablets for year four school children, retention and expansion of stipends, and greater assistance for disabled persons.

At the same time, Muscat highlighted proposals that are new to Labour's table, such as "immediate and bipartisan consultations to establish the priorities or Malta's upcoming European Union presidency in 2017."

Muscat also said that a new Labour government would ensure greater surveillance in the Police dept through surveillance systems, even in lock-ups "to ensure that no abuses take place".

Muscat insisted that Labour's 'roadmap' is well costed, because Labour has been regarding how much each proposal would cost.

"From the very first day when we announced our Energy Plan, we answered questions regarding how, when, and how much. Something that others have no yet done, and it seems they are not capable of doing."

Muscat also hit out at the Nationalist Party's economic growth projections, insisting that there is "a basic difference" between Labour and the PN in this regard.

"Others are assuming that there will be economic growth that will allow it to finance new expenditures. We are presenting proposals that will actually generate this economic growth," Muscat said.

Click here to read an overview of the 837 proposals within the Labour Party's 2013 manifesto.