Busuttil pitches PN as ‘workers’ party’, urges Muscat to take budget proposals on board

Opposition leader says traffic has 'paralyzed' the country, lambasts government for lack of action to alleviate the problem 

Simon Busuttil addresses a radio conference organised by the PN's workers' branch
Simon Busuttil addresses a radio conference organised by the PN's workers' branch

Opposition leader Simon Busuttil described the Nationalist Party as a “workers’ party” with policies aimed at the fair distribution of wealth among citizens.

“In contrast to what some like to portray us as, the PN is actually a workers’ party that is interested in seeing workers advance their careers and land high-paying jobs,” Busuttil said in a brief closing speech of a radio conference organised by the PN’s workers’ section (Solidarjeta Haddiema Partit Nazzjonalista).

“Our policies are to create wealth and to distribute that newly-generated wealth fairly amongst everyone, in particular to workers past and present. Pensioners are unable to get by on their current pensions and some can hardly afford medicines and food.”

Busuttil recounted how he recently paid a personal visit to Dockyards workers, a first for a PN leader.

“It was an emotional moment for me. I visited the workers because I wanted to show that I am not all talk, but that I am ready to personally visit and speak to workers. I wanted to send workers a clear message that the PN cares about them.”

He urged Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to take on board 91 proposals that the PN presented on Friday in a pre-Budget document. The document includes proposals to lower utility tariffs and fuel prices, increase the annual statutory bonus to workers, abolish the income tax on pensions, and reverse increases in social housing rent introduced by the Labour administration.

It also proposes that the government commission a study on an alternative public transport system such as a tram or light railway. In his speech, Busuttil accused the government of not taking any action to combat Malta’s notorious traffic problem.

“Traffic has paralyzed the country, and everyone is furious at the situation, but yet the government has done nothing to alleviate it in the past three years.”

He defended his decision to release the PN’s policies from now, rather than to keep his cards close to his chest until the election campaign.

“Some people have asked me why I haven’t saved these policies for the party’s manifesto. Yet my stance is that the future starts from now and that must start preparing ourselves for it from now. The people who keep ideas in their pockets are those who want to personally gain from them, yet I want the public to benefit from the PN’s ideas.”

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