[WATCH] Meritocracy: Labour’s biggest question mark in 2013

Reporter discussed the government's decisions eight-and-half months into its legislature.

"Meritocracy", and whether the Labour government has delivered on its 'Malta For All' (Malta Taghna Lkoll) battlecry was the subject of Monday's Reporter on PBS, presented by Mediatoday's managing editor Saviour Balzan.

We interviewed people like Nationalist MP Robert Cutajar, who complained that the first eight months of Labour's administration had actually "reversed" the expectations of its electoral campaign.

"I understand that any government cannot implement, within eight months, what they have promised in an electoral programme for five years. But what I don't expect is things happening to the contrary of what was promised.

"The meaning of meritocracy, as Labour promised us, has been totally reversed. I ask whether it is meritocratic to even have Labour backbenchers taking various salaries... or having a minister's wife pocket €13,000 a month without a call for applications have been issued," Cutajar said, referring to Sai Mizzi Liang, wife of energy minister Konrad Mizzi, who was appointed a Malta Enterprise envoy for Asia markets.

On her part, Labour MEP candidate Miriam Dalli, formerly a One TV journalist and head of news, defended her own appointment inside the energy ministry. "I am suitably qualified for the fields of communications, CRS and stakeholder management... I understand the need for public calls to be made for certain positions, but there are certain posts where the minister needs to have people of trust around him, and the same happens in the private sector."

Dalli also said that Labour's current record on public appointments was 'somewhere in the middle', claiming that the public were either criticising the government for appointing "too many Labourites... or too many Nationalists" on public boards and committees.

"We previously had a government that, for 25 years, did not appoint Labourites who were able to offer the country their service," Dalli said.

In another interview, GWU daily l-orizzont editor Josef Caruana defended the introduction of Joseph Muscat's plan to sell citizenship for €650,000, saying that the money would be poured into the government's consolidated fund rather than to finance "the holes of the past administration's financial mismanagement."

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Ma nistax nifhem kif il P.N. inkluz Dr Simon Busuttil qabdu ma Ms Sai Mizzi Lang ghax inghatat il-kariga li inghatat. L-unika skuza li qedin igibu hi li hi mart Ministru, allura din se teskludi persuna kwalifikata u fdata milli tigi impjegata ghax inzertat mart Ministru, jafu b’xi persuna ohra Maltija li hi kompetenti bhala? Intesa li din giet impjegata anke mill-amministrazzjoni precedenti ghax kienet kapaci. Intesa li Dr Busuttil kien mahtur mil- gvern ta Dr E.Fenech Adami biex imexxi il-kampanja biex Malta issir membru tal E.U. minghajr ma ntalbet ebda applikazzjoni? Nafu wkoll x’kien qal Dr. Busuttil dwar jekk hux se jaqbad karriera pulitika. Jew dan kollox sew ghax ma kienx mizzewweg membru tal-kabinet ta dak iz-zmien jew ghax Nazzjonalist. Nigu ghal hatriet ta membri Parlamentari. Insejna il-membru Parlamentari li kien xeba jidher fl-ahbarijiet bis-safety helmet f’rasu meta kien ikun hemm xi ahbar fuq Mater Dei jew dan kien ikun hemm hekk ghal-gost. Ma nafx jekk kellux xi xoghol li ghandu x’jaqsam mal-kapacitajiet tieghu.