Busuttil insists on 4,000-plus increase in public workforce

Opposition leader unrelenting on public workforce data

Simon Busuttil, with PN candidate Kevin Bugeja and former Gozo minister Giovanna Debono
Simon Busuttil, with PN candidate Kevin Bugeja and former Gozo minister Giovanna Debono

Opposition leader Simon Busuttil has kept up the fight over a 2,000-plus increase in public sector jobs since Labour came into power in March 2013, when the administration had said it would reduce jobs in the public sector by 500 a year.

Busuttil said that since March 2013 and until the most recent data for June 2014, the NSO data was showing an increase of 2,240 public sector jobs. But the PN leader said that over 2,000 retired from the public sector and then replaced, and therefore registering a 4,420 increase in public sector jobs in the 16 months since Labour was elected.

“Muscat is forgetting, or perhaps he is lying, about those who retired from public service and who were replaced,” Busuttil said.

According to NSO data, over 2,000 new public sector jobs were registered over in the past 12 months; the PN claims that these come over and above 2,000 public sector jobs that should not have been replenished.

According to government claims in October 2013, the public sector sees some 1,500 employees retiring a year and that the government planned to replace only 1,000, save for jobs in health and education. Over 800 health and education jobs were added over the past year.

The PN leader also accused Prime Minister Joseph Muscat of wasting two years over a touted permanent link between Malta and Gozo, that should have improved commerce on the sister island, Opposition leader Simon Busuttil said today.

During a visit to the Gozitano Complex in Xewkija, Busuttil said that the former administration had started studies on the possibility of a permanent link between the two islands which had not yet gathered steam under the current administration.

Busuttil met members of the retail community at the complex, where he spoke of the need for governmnet incentives that attract foreign investment and bring jobs to the island.

“Although the recent data from the NSO shows an increase in private sector jobs, a graver concern is the large increase in public sector workers,” Busuttil said.

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