Prime Minister promises pensions increase for third year running

‘It’s like watching a film for the second time,’ Labour leader Joseph Muscat says on the PN leadership election

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat

Budget 2018 will offer an increase in pensions for the third year running, Prime Minister and Labour leader Joseph Muscat pledged this morning.

Retaining his Sunday contact with the party faithful, Muscat gave a brief phone interview to ONE Radio, during which he declared that the government would be increasing pensions once again.

A top priority, the Labour leader added, is addressing social housing and find ways to ensure that the tenants do not continue to suffer. He admitted that a budgetary measure giving subsidies to tenants resulted an increase in rents.

Muscat declared his opposition to a proposal by the Malta Employers of Association to introduce a waiting day – which effectively means that workers are not paid for their first day of sick leave, with the argument being that employers have found workers to take sick leave linked to the weekend.

“The proposal is a non-starter,” Muscat declared.

Asked about the PN leadership election, Muscat insisted that he was not “surprised” by how things had evolved, claiming that it was as if he were watching a film for the second time.

One of the candidates, Adrian Delia, has been hit by offshore account allegations, whilst a second candidate – Frank Portelli – has claimed that the election was “rigged”. The claim has been denied by the Nationalist Party.

“Just three months ago I used to talk about the coalition of confusion,” he said, referring to the PN’s decision allowing the Democratic Party to run on its ticket. “It’s evident that the PN has not found its unity.”

Muscat went on to add that “we have seen these tricks” during the last general election.

Changing tone, the Prime Minister said the country needed a functional opposition and that the government had a number of reforms that it needed to start working on, but which also need contribution of the opposition.

“We need to start discussing a series of reforms which the government has a strong mandate to implement.”

More in National