Strong economy not trickling down to general public, Fenech Adami warns

PN deputy leader claims criminality is surging and prison conditions are deteriorating, with prisoners forced to eat with recycled plastic cutlery and pay for their own medication 

PN deputy leader Beppe Fenech Adami warned that the strong economy “that the government loves to boast about” isn’t trickling down into the everyday lives of people.

“What do the thousands of elderly people think when they hear the Prime Minister boasting about Malta’s strong economy, when they can hardly get by with their pensions?” he questioned in a passionate speech in parliament during a debate on the implementation of this year’s Budget.

“What is the point of boasting about a strong economy if hundreds of cancer patients have to beg for treatment funds from the Malta Community Chest Fund? What is the point of boasting about a strong economy for the several people still working in precarious jobs?

“It is almost insulting to these people, for the Prime Minister to boast about the strong economy.”

Fenech Adami also warned that Malta’s high employment rate is due to a high influx of East Europeans who are immigrating to the island to take up jobs with low wages that the Maltese are refusing.

He criticized the Labour government for having abandoned its predecessor’s strategy to construct a new school every year, warned that public transport has deteriorated sharply and criminality is on the rise.

“Criminality is on the rise because the police force is demoralised,” he said. “Stabbing incidents have become a weekly occurrence, theft has increased at an alarming rate, and there are places on the island with serious problems of drug trafficking.”

The shadow home affairs minister also warned that prisoners are living in disastrous health conditions, and are forced to eat with plastic cutlery that is washed and recycled for months on end.

Moreover, prisoners have to pay for their own medication – barring Panadol – at an inflated price.

“It is social injustice for the government to have a strong economy, but not use it to generate wealth for all,” he said, arguing that the Cabinet would cost €100 million over PL’s five-year term. “The difference between Labour and the PN is that we will ensure that everyone gets to feel the benefit of a strong economy.”

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