[WATCH] Prime Minister says he's sceptical of state funding of political parties

The PM says he believes the parties should be self-sustainable by commercialising their clubs

Prime Minister Robert Abela
Prime Minister Robert Abela

Prime Minister Robert Abela declared himself sceptical of state funding of political parties, saying he believes self-sustainability through the commercialisation of party clubs, was the way forward.

“When we speak of state funding, this would mean that through taxes, the public would be financing the operations of the political parties,” Abela said.

He said that in the case of the Labour Party, it was true that there were tax arrears and unsettled water and electricity bills with ARMS, but said there was a repayment plan that was being honoured.

It was recently reported that the Labour Party's media house has debts amounting to around €10 million whilst PN leader Bernard Grech disclosed that the PN had debts amounting to €32 million.

“The operations of political parties should follow a sustainability model. I believe that the current regulations related to party financing provide an adequate framework, but they should move towards sustainability. This is achievable through the commercialising of party clubs,” Abela said.

He said the Labour Party was following a model, whereby clubs were to be partly utilised for political purposes and partly commercialised, in order to make operations more self-sustainable.