Opposition MPs pay €1,500 for skiving Parliament

Opposition MPs racked up a total of €1,500 for absenteeism from Parliament, while Government MPs' fines total €700 • Former PN leader Simon Busuttil and former PD leader Marlene Farrugia in the lead

Members of the Opposition are among the top MPs to be fined for failing to attend Parliament sittings without justification, having missed 31 sittings totalling to €1,550 in fines, a report in the The Sunday Times of Malta has revealed.

Former Nationalist Party leader Simon Busuttil and former Democratic party leader Marlene Farrugia are the top two absentees in Opposition, as they each missed four sittings and had to pay €200 each.

The rule to fine MPs €50 for every unjustified absence was approved in 2016.

PN MPs Robert Arrigo, Jason Azzopardi, Claudio Grech and Chris Said were absent for three sittings each, bringing up their total to €600 in fines.

PN MPs Toni Bezzina, Beppe Fenech Adami, Karl Gouder and Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici missed two sittings each, and had to pay a total of €400.

PN MPs Robert Cutajar, Mario de Marco, and Kristy Debono missed one sitting each and paid a total of €150.

Government MPs paid a total of €700 in fines due to 14 missed sittings, with former Tourism Minister Edward Zammit Lewis having missed four sittings and being fined €200.

Labour MPs Chris Cardona and Silvio Schembri missed two sittings each, while Robert Abela, Aaron Farrugia, José Herrera, Konrad Mizzi, Silvio Parnis, and Edward Scicluna all missed one sitting each without justification.

Parliament can take legal action against MPs who fail to pay their fines within six months, and the money from the fines is used for better administration of Parliament.

MPs receive over €20,000 per year in remuneration.

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