Bernard Grech: Robert Abela used people with disabilities to buy votes

Benefits fraud scandal: Opposition leader Bernard Grech accuses Robert Abela of buying votes in the last general election

Opposition leader Bernard Grech (Photo: Nationalist Party)
Opposition leader Bernard Grech (Photo: Nationalist Party)

Opposition leader Bernard Grech has accused Robert Abela of taking advantage of people with disabilities to buy votes in the last general election.

In an interview on Nationalist Party media, Grech commented on the benefits fraud scandal, which implicates former Labour MP Silvio Grixti in a long-running fraudulent scheme to help people obtain disability benefits illicitly.

“This scandal has serious shortcomings at various levels,” he said. “Abela took advantage of people with disabilities to attract people who did not want to vote Labour. Because he gave them money which they didn’t deserve, they voted for the Labour Party.”

“They used people with disability. You can’t get lower than that, using and abusing vulnerable people.”

He said that the scandal is also a betrayal to those who view elections as something sacred. “I know many who are angry because they felt cheated in participating in an election correctly, but Abela participated in a deceptive way and bought his votes.”

On a third level, the scandal is a betrayal to people who were convinced by the Labour Party to participate in the racket and are now being brought to court, Grech said.

He added that last Monday, during the Nationalist Party’s protest outside Parliament, there were a number of Labour supporters. Among them was a Labour-voting couple who also attended more recent PN protests.

“There are Labour supporters who can no longer support the way Robert Abela is leading the country.”

Grech also spoke about infrastructural problems in Malta. He said the Labour Party’s only contribution to local infrastructure are new flyover projects.

“Infrastructure is failing. From electricity, health and roads, but also our airport, and the frequent delays there. Air Malta is also part of our infrastructure. This government has failed Malta and Gozo.”

He said waste management is also part of the problem, adding that the government decreased garbage collection over time instead of increasing it.

Independence day celebrations

The Nationalist Party’s chosen theme for this year's Independence celebrations is ‘A Better Life in our Country’, with the celebrations starting on Monday 18 September and culminating with the Independence mass meeting on September 20 in Valletta.

Grech insisted on fairness, saying that a Nationalist Party in government would ensure that people are rewarded for hard work, and not for cheating their way to success.

He also invited people to attend the party’s mass meeting on September 20, where the party will lay out its plans to offer a better quality of life to Maltese people.