NAO report confirms families are being robbed through utility bills - PN

Following the publication of the NAO report that confirmed discrepancies in water and electricity bills, the Nationalist Party reiterated its pledge to refund overcharged customers when in government

Nationalist Party Deputy Leader David Agius said the National Audit Office report on the ARMS billing system confirms that customers are still being overcharged for their water and electricity bills.

“You now have a confirmation that you are being robbed through your water and electricity bills [...] the NAO report found that the theft amounts to €6.5 million a year,” Agius said. He reiterated the PN pledge to allocate €50 million for the refund of all overcharged bills.

The report found an annual net variance of €6.5 million between the pro rata and annualised billing methodologies, €4.6 million for electricity and €1.9 million for water.

Agius called out PBS and TVM for their reporting on the matter.

“You are still being robbed today, irrespective of what Labour says,” energy spokesperson Ryan Callus said.

He explained that as per the billing mechanism of 2013, four were estimates and two actual bills were issued. Since 2013, the six bills issued every year have all been actual.

Callus quoted from the NAO report and said that from 53 electricity bills, 26 were found to have had a €10 or more overcharge and that from 52 water bills, eight were found to have been overcharged by the same amount.

PAC meeting and Konrad Mizzi

Callus touched upon the PAC meeting on Wednesday, where former energy minister Konrad Mizzi hysterically defended his record and the Electrogas deal.

He added that the Labour Party is still defending Mizzi and validating his ‘shenanigans’. Callus suggested that Mizzi's statement that he's proud to be voting Labour in the next election, is a threat to Prime Minister Robert Abela.  

When asked whether the PAC hearings should be revised, in order to minimise similar incidents, Callus said that after Mizzi is ready from his testimony, the committee will take all the time necessary to question him.

Callus also explained that the PN had introduced the current setup, where the committee is led by a member of the Opposition party.

Currently, PN MP Beppe Fenech Adami leads the committee.

NAO report confirms that the billing system never changed - PL

In a statement, the Labour Party said that the NAO report confirms that the current billing system, is the same one that was used during a PN government.

It said that the only difference today, is that the bills are cheaper, “It still results that not only are the Maltese benefitting from cheaper bills than the ones during a PN government, but also than other EU countries.” 

"The only government that robbed the Maltese and Gozitans through utility bills, was a Nationalist government [...] between 2008 and 2013, when Bernard Grech's deputies were ministers, Malta saw the highest increase in electricity bills in the EU," the Labour party said.

It added that in government, the PN, would repeat what happened in 2013 and increase utility bills.