Opposition leader says it's time for Malta to have full-time MPs

Adrian Delia has called on the government to implement the recommendations in a report by the Commissioner for Standards calling for MPs to no longer be appointed to positions of trust

Opposition leader Adrian Delia called on government to take recommendations by the Standards Commissioner on board
Opposition leader Adrian Delia called on government to take recommendations by the Standards Commissioner on board

Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia has said that it is time for Malta to have full-time MPs, while urging the government to implement recommendations made to it by the Comissioner for Standards in a report published yesterday.

Commissioner George Hyzler’s report described the practice of MPs being appointed to positions at various government entities, or as consultants and positions of trust, as fundamentally wrong, while calling for MPs to have their salary increased.  

“The government should take the decisions needed to safeguard the independence of the Maltese parliament – the highest institution in the country. Without a doubt, the time has come for members of parliament to be given the option to shift to full-time role while also being provided with the necessary assistance for them to focus on their parliamentary work professionally while avoiding conflicts of interest,” Delia said in a statement on Sunday.

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Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said the government was analyzing the report’s findings and would be publishing its own position in due course. Muscat noted that Hylzer had suggested increasing MPs’ salaries, a decision which he said could not be taken lightly. The proposal, he said, needed to studied legally and evaluated through a public discussion.

Delia, who is also the PN’s justice and good governance spokesperson, said that the PN had taken note of the commissioner’s conclusions, adding that they were similar to those of the Venice Commission in its report about Malta’s institutions.

Delia said that since being elected in 2013, the Labour government had changed the law to allow backbenchers to have roles, consultancies, or positions of trust with the government.

“On the other hand, the Nationalist Opposition was against this practice and even voted against it in parliament at the start of the last legislature.”

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