[WATCH] PM credits social measures in this year’s budget to government’s sustainable planning

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat was addressing party faithful in Marsaxlokk

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has said that the measures of this year’s budget are a result of sustainable planning carried out by the Labour government.

“This government spent its first years in power creating a firm financial base on which it would be basing its policies, then when it saw that it was sustainable, started rolling out measures and giving back to the people,” Muscat said.

Muscat was addressing party faithful at a political activity in Marsaxlokk, where he said that this year’s budget is built on three pillars.

“The first pillar is that of helping and respecting people who work hard,” he said.

The Labour leader said that the government wants to give back to people who contribute to the country’s workforce, and make their lives a little easier.

The second pillar is that of helping those in need the most, according to Muscat, who said that government will continue working hard towards ensuring social justice.

“The third pillar is that of sustainability, so we can ensure that the economic success that the country is enjoying, continues for the years to come,” Muscat said.

The PM said that this government doesn’t want to fall into the trap of previous administrations, who would spend money they didn’t have and then turn to the people and businesses to fix the problems they created.

“People can rest assured that in the coming budgets they will receive more cheques and money from the government,” Muscat stated.

Sustainability according to Muscat, was shown through the reduction in over-time tax, which has now fallen to 15% for the 100 hours.

“We promised this reduction in tax in our electoral manifesto, and that is our contract with the people who voted for us,” he stated.

Muscat also said that such this electoral promise will be carried out, but warned that specific measures will be implemented in an effort to reduce abuse.

“While we must guarantee that it is implemented properly, we must also ensure that it helps those who need it the most,” Muscat told party faithful.

“We are not only giving workers and families money, but we gave families more leave, something which was taken away by the previous government and this cannot be calculated monetarily,” he said.

On the €7 weekly rise in pensions, Muscat said that this increase has not been seen in the country for 40 years, and shows the government’s social commitment during the budget.

“I agree with the PN that it is not enough, and that is why in the years to come we will once again give them a raise,” Muscat stated.

On environmental measures, the PL leader said that sustainability also comes into play in this sector.

“Having less plastic and a cleaner air will ensure that the generations to come can live in a healthy and unpolluted environment,” he said.

According to the PM, this will be ensured though measures like the bottle re-fund scheme, and the phasing out of fossil fuelled powered cars.

Muscat also stated that in the years to come, public transport will eventually be free to everyone.

Louis Grech

Prior to Joseph Muscat’s speech, former deputy prime minister Louis Grech addressed those present, praising the budget for being designed to help those vulnerable in society.

“This was truly a social budget,” Grech said.

Louis Grech also warned party faithful to remain grounded.

“When you are strong you think you are invincible and we must remain disciplined,” warned Grech.

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