'Families paying the price for government scandals' - PN

PN says that those with the lowest income are paying for the government's scandals • PL says the Opposition is “twisting facts”

Shadow social policy minister Paula Mifsud Bonnici said that the public was paying the price for the scandals the government had been embroiled in over the past two years.

"It is the families with the lowest income that are hit the worst," she added, stressing that these scandals were also effecting the way the government itself operated.

Mifsud Bonnici said that while the government was making those involved in the scandals rich overnight, the low income families were being forced to make up for the expenses.

Speaking during a press conference where she called the government's corruption "institutionalized," Mifsud Bonnici added that the Nationalist Party would be distributing leaflets showing the scandals that the public had had to pay for including the Cafe Premier scandal which had cost the public some €4.2 million in public funds, among others.

Housing spokesperson Stephen Spiteri said that the government had created a division in society by favouring those who were close to the government at the expense of the neediest groups in society.

"The housing authority has been manned by those closest to the government and it has even increased rents for housing estates ," Spiteri said.

He also added that the government had even raised expenses such as exam fees, which continue to oppress those at risk of poverty.

"Although we have seen a 0.2% drop in those at risk of poverty, the PN will continue to look at absolute numbers, and to fight for the needs of those 100,000 still facing economic strife," he said, referring to recent NSO statistics that showed that poverty rates had dropped  to 23.8% compared to 24% during the previous year.

Mifsud Bonnici added that the government needed to stay true to its word and "obliterate poverty", as it had promised prior to the general elections.

PL says the Opposition is “twisting facts”

The Labour Party has maintained that PN is trying to twist fact regardless of statistics issued mere days ago.

In a press statement, the PL also pointed out that statistics had shown a reduction in local poverty rates, for the first time in ten years.

“The PN had said that poverty is a perception, and it seems contradictory that they should now try to lecture on the subject,” the statement reads.

The statement also reminds that under the previous administration, those at risk of poverty had increased from 20.1% to 24%, which translates to an 18,000 person increase since 2008.

“The government will continue in its efforts to help these families and it will adopt further measures to eradicate this reality,” it said reiterating its stance to not ignore the phenomenon.