Labour reiterates pledge to retain government’s Budget 2013 framework

MaltaToday on Sunday reveals budget proposal on parents and property tax.

Labour leader Joseph Muscat addressing a political activity in Mosta this morning.
Labour leader Joseph Muscat addressing a political activity in Mosta this morning.

Labour leader Joseph Muscat reiterated that his government would retain the framework of the Budget 2013 to be presented next Wednesday by Finance Minister Tonio Fenech.

"I don't know what's going to happen next week. I don't know whether vote in parliament will pass or whether we'll be starting the new year without an approved budget.

"However, if a Labour government is elected we are committed to retain the positive framework of the budget," he said.

According to MaltaToday on Sunday, finance minister Tonio Fenech plans to decrease the income tax payable by parents - which last year was introduced at 25% - and to extend the time period for the application of property tax from seven to 10 years.

Muscat said that investors have thanked him for having taken this decision. "We know that it takes time for a government to negotiate its budget with the European Commission and we would only be wasting time if we did otherwise.  Our priority will be that of creating jobs," he said.

Muscat took government to task for its failure to develop a national energy policy, adding that meanwhile it was the taxpayer paying directly for government's shortcomings.

Addressing the Mosta community during a political activity this morning, Muscat said the Prime Minister has once again U-turned over his energy plans, this time with regards to the Sargas proposal.

"He first rubbished the proposal because it made use of coal, without then realising that it could be powered by gas. Today he is agreeing that with it, utility bills can be lowered. So why didn't you [Gonzi] think about it before you bought a power station off the Yellow Pages?" Muscat said.

Muscat accused Lawrence Gonzi of being "arrogant", "incompetent" and a "mediocre leader".

"He dismantled all the good built by his predecessor. He has not only divided his own party but also this country. This is a feeling felt by genuine Nationalist," he added.

Muscat ridiculed Gonzi for having claimed that the international price of oil had reached $150 a barrel last Sunday. "While I listened to him I sat thinking that it wasn't the same figure I had... maybe his informer was the Brasilian company," he said, in a jibe to the Brasilian company which has long closed shop in Malta.

Muscat added all these shortcomings from the government's side showed that it could not be trusted.

Joseph Muscat also said that if it hadn't been for the "hard work" of his Labour MEPs, Tonio Borg would have never been approved by the European Parliament as Commissioner.

"We knew from the start that Borg's nomination would be problematic... but Gonzi ignored us. If it hadn't been for our MEPs who worked hard to convince MEPs from the Socialists and Democrats Group to vote in favour, Borg wouldn't have made it," Muscat insisted.

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Sorry,but Labour has hit the bottom They have been saying they have a roadmap, they have received the suggestions of the party faithful during that much-talked about congress lst September, they have assigned the manifesto to an ex-Mintoff minister with a dismal record ably assisted by a member of the think-tank of the Labour progressive movement; yet they arenow saying that they will copy the measuresof the budget if they are elected. This is simply ridiculous and laughable. Labour has been saying for four years that the PN has failed miserablyand yet Labour will be copying the PN measures. Who is Labour trying to fool? The electorate are not all the fools Labour makes them out to be. There are thousands of discerning voters who use their brain And these are the ones that determine the outcome of an election Labour peaked early; they can only lose votes. Wouldn't be surprised at all that PN will win the coming election
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The proposed reduction in income tax is a complete gimmick that should cause the Maltese to protest. The reduction of this tax is in favor of high earners only, i.e. those who are at the lower social level or middle social level will not get much benefit from this tax reduction. Who does the government think it is fooling! Eventually the VAT rate will probably have to rise to offset this. Perhaps new taxes should be created for luxurious goods.