During a political activity in Birkirkara on Sunday morning, Opposition Leader Joseph Muscat promised that a Labour government would make social projects a priority, and that it would only take decisions after having conducted a social impact assessment.
In an inspiring speech Muscat stated that the Labour party had moved a step forward to become a movement which is made up of different people who have come together with a common goal; that of working for the betterment of the Maltese people. On the other hand, the Nationalist party had taken a step back as it is was reduced to GonziPN; a small clique of people who are more interested in showing off rather than doing their job.
It is up to the PN if it felt that it would like to leave legacies such as a new parliament, but the PL’s legacies would be of a completely different nature, Muscat insisted. He said that the PL would not prioritise projects that the citizen can only look at, but would invest money and energy into projects that would improve the citizen’s quality of life.
Muscat cited the example of the new parliament versus the Oncology clinic at Mater Dei. The government had spent €33 million on a new parliament, but only a tenth of that amount to build the much awaited Oncology clinic, and which is still a long way from completion.
Muscat said that the PL is able to feel the pain of those who are suffering, and it is because of this that the party had issued its proposals to revolutionise the services offered to disabled persons and their families. Muscat proceeded to read a letter which was sent to him by a young woman with a disability. In her letter the woman encouraged the PL to persist with its proposals on disability, because if they are implemented, for her it would be a dream come true.
On the education, training and work guarantees that the PL has given young people, Muscat explained that these were the same ideas now being introduced in many EU countries. However, said Muscat, the PL did not want to stand by and watch while other countries implemented these proposals. In this sector the PL wants Malta to be a role model for other EU countries to copy.
In a message of encouragement to nursing students who had their wages cut down by half, Muscat stated that the PL would support them in their battle. Despite the fact that nursing was a crucial profession for our country, the government had said that Malta did not need more nurses, but now the government was forced to employ foreign nurses. A Labour government, insisted Muscat, would never resort to such actions, but would keep and improve the current stipends for all students.
Muscat mentioned the 7,000 jobs Smart City was meant to generate but which never materialised. Where GonziPN had failed to deliver, a Labour government would succeed in achieving, stated Muscat. He also made reference to the ludicrous situation where honest and hard-working businessmen were being sent to jail for not paying taxes when they find themselves in dire financial straits, instead of being helped to get back on their feet and resume their business.
Regarding the manufacturing and construction business, Muscat stated that, unlike the present government, a Labour government would help and encourage both sectors to develop and flourish. Muscat also mentioned the appalling decision by the government in relation to Civil Protection workers, where the court had granted the latter the right to negotiate their working conditions, but the government had appealed against this decision. A Labour government would not only give Civil Protection workers the right to negotiate, but would also allow them to join a worker’s union.
“This is a government that operates on regular ego-trips at the expense of the people”, stated Muscat. He concluded that the Labour party would continue to insist for the adoption of a ‘culture of accountability’, even though this would most certainly result in further attacks on the Labour party. Muscat insisted that although the PL had received subtle threats meant to deter it from this course, the PL would persist because its loyalty lies only with the people.