PN will not close doors to foreign workers but plan is needed - Karl Gouder

On Workers’ Day the Nationalist Party insists the country has to attract new higher value added industries to foster economic growth

PN MP Karl Gouder, PN MEP candidate Michael Mercieca and local council candidate Vince Fabri
PN MP Karl Gouder, PN MEP candidate Michael Mercieca and local council candidate Vince Fabri

The Nationalist Party will not close its doors to foreign workers but insists a long-term plan is required to attract new higher skilled jobs, Karl Gouder said.

The PN MP was speaking on Wednesday morning at a press conference to mark Workers’ Day.

“A new PN government wants to ensure that workers who are doing well will continue to do well but there is a sizeable section of unskilled workers being squeezed by low wage growth,” Gouder said, adding this phenomenon was the result of government’s economic direction that was dependent on foreign workers employed on the cheap.

Malta’s economic growth must not depend on population growth, Gouder added, insisting the country had to tap new sectors that paid higher wages and contributed value added to the economy.

He said that Artificial Intelligence and its application to the environment was one such sector the country had to prepare for over the coming years.

When it was pointed out that sectors such as AI and Igaming would attract foreign labour that would require accommodation, which in turn could fuel more construction that is dependent on low skilled jobs, Gouder said the PN was not against these workers.

“Irrespective of who the workers are, we have to ensure they receive a fair pay… we will not close our doors to foreign workers,” Gouder said.

He called for more effort to be done in the education sector to reduce the number of early school leavers, who risk ending up in precarious situations when they grow older.

Gouder was flanked by PN MEP candidate Michael Mercieca and other local council candidates.