Updated | PN says Labour deputy leader 'devoid of ideas'

Labour deputy leader says COLA increase insufficient to counter tax inflation in 2012.

Labour deputy leader Anglu Farrugia.
Labour deputy leader Anglu Farrugia.

Updated at 2:07pm with PN reaction.

Labour deputy leader for parliamentary affairs Anglu Farrugia said Budget 2012 had presented small solutions to the big problems being faced by Maltese and Gozitan families.

"It was a budget that did not address the burdens being shouldered by the public because of Lawrence Gonzi's misleading policies - policies that include a list of new direct and indirect taxes," Farrugia said.

Farrugia said the €4.66 weekly COLA increase was simply an adjustment for the inflation incurred over the past year. "It won't be enough once it is weighed in with the average basket of taxes," Farrugia said.

Farrugia also said government was trying to evade its responsibility over wastage and maladministration of government funds.

"Gonzi's irresponsible polices have created various dead-end projects, burdens that erode the quality of life of the most vulnerable, salaried workers and the self-employed, many of them members of the middle class."

In a reaction, the Nationalist Party said the Labour statement was typical of the state Labour was in.

"Shadow deputy prime minister Anglu Farrugia simply filled an entire page without saying one thing that a government with him as deputy prime minister would do the in the current financial storm that many countries are passing through," the PN said in a statement.

The PN lambasted Farrugia's statement "as completely devoid of ideas."

"Countries on the brink of failure are sacking people from the civil service, cutting salaries, social services, introducing new taxes and increasing tax already in place, and charging fees for health and education and reducing pensions.

"On the other hand Malta has 3,000 more full-timers than in the previous year, we're experiencing record tourism, and exports are growing with Malta," the PN said.

The party said Farrugia would empty Malta's coffers with his promise to reduce utility rates while oil prices increase. "We have already seen what happened when Labour removed the 15% VAT in 1996. Today Labour accepts the VAT system but still says it will reduce the same utility rate it increased in 1998 when oil was at $12 a barrel.

"Farrugia expects to be deputy prime minister in the coming years, but has to yet to tell us how Joseph Muscat's promises will not bankrupt the country, in the same Spain's socialist prime minister Josè Zapatero has with his promises."

Sur Deidun, qabel ma tlablb bhas-soltu biex turi kemm int bravu, ghax ma tindenjax taqra naqra in National Reform Programme li l-EU ippreparat ghall-partit tieghek fil-gvern halli tkun taf fejn hu hot air. Ez: pagne 8 tghid: Malta is at high risk with regard to the long-term sustainability of public finances. Biex ma tmurx tikser darek il link hija din: http://ec.europa.eu/europe2020/pdf/recommendations_2011/swp_malta_en.pdf Dik il-problema ta' min jahdem go torri tal-ivorju bhall-Universita`...jahseb illi d-dinja barra hija kif irid ipingiha hu. Anglu Farrugia u MPs laburisti ohrajn jiltaqghu ma mijiet ta nies fil-gimgha...u int? Forsi ghax komdu?
Mark Fenech
How does PN pretends that LP would devulge what they would be doing if they are elected in government in the next general elections. These are the same people who have presented in the budget for next year figures which they do not explain, e.g. an increase of €48million from NI; an increase in the collection of income tax, when they have given tax reductions to certain families, a good number of increases in collections for certain services. They still prepare a budget on cash basis and not on accruals. They may leave bills unpaid as they did in 1996 so that the deficit will be lower than it should be. These are the same people who have not published Enemalta Audited Accounts for 3 years, and we are writing on something which is historical and has happened, therefore it is not difficult to publish it, but they do not. But, these hypocrites wants the LP spokemen to put their cards on the table for them to see and start putting doubts in people's head. It is not true that in 1997 and 1998 the crude oil was 12USD per barrel. The rates were raised because your government made a mess in Enemalta. You are shouting about bunkruptcy - have a look at Enemalta and Water Services Corporation and you will know how you have bunkrapted these organisations, by allowing wastage and uncontrolled expenditure. Enemalta does not even own a chair for its net assets are negative, which means that all its assets belong to the financial institutions and creditors. Tafu tistħu????????? Kollha fariżej, l-aktar nies li letteralment kien jobogħod is-Sinjur tagħna Gesu' Kristu.
Hot air.... like his claim of 'bought' votes during the last election..
If you deduct income tax and NI contribution from the 4.66 Cola increase, you are left with only 2.56 euros. Hardly enough to make up for the high utility bills, fuel, cost of living, etc,etc.
yet another PL economy spokesperson, joining the ranks of Karmenu Vella and Charles Mangion, but still no tangible economic proposals from the PL - all hot hair and white smoke