Citing the track record of Finance Minister Tonio Fenech and the various scandals in which he was implicated, Labour leader Joseph Muscat asked how Fenech was not ashamed to retain his position as Minister. Speaking during a political activity in Tarxien, Muscat described both the Prim Minister and Finance Minister as irresponsible amateurs.
Muscat recalled how at the beginning of this year we were told that the deficit would be €50 million less than it was in 2011, only for the deficit to increase by staggering amounts six months later. The country’s debt, on the other hand, had increased by €310 million. Muscat said that the government might just succeed in decreasing the deficit by the end of this year, however this will undoubtedly be achieved by cutting down on the capital expenditure from sensitive areas,and not from projects such as the new parliament.
Referring to GonziPN’s wily but irresponsible tactics, Muscat said that just after a betting company was awarded a ten year concession, the government had put down the total income received from this company into this year’s accounts. This meant that in the next ten years future governments would not see a cent’s income from public lotto.
Apart from the latest scandal in which Alan Caruana, secretary to the Finance Minister, had sent for Wasteserv’s auditors and asked them to revise their reports about the company’s operation, in the past Tonio Fenech has been implicated in numerous scandals, whether directly or indirectly. Among others there was his ex-private secretary admitting in court of having received money with the scope of aiding people in tax evasion, the trip Fenech made in a private jet to watch a football match, and the long saga in which Fenech had renovation works done on his home free of charge in exchange for aiding the selling of the Jerma Hotel.
Joseph Muscat reiterated that the 20,000 jobs which the government had supposedly created was a fabrication. After the Labour party had exposed the truth behind these figures, the EU had also expressed its doubts, and told the government that only 10,000 jobs might have been generated, and this at the very best.
The Labour movement, Muscat said, was committed to generate quality jobs which give back the pride and dignity the workers have been robbed of under GonziPN. Together with education, work was the key to creating a new middle-class where social mobility was possible. This would be a Labour government’s priority.
Muscat also thanked the teachers who were voluntarily aiding students to resit their exams. A total of 550 students had applied to attend these lessons which were free of charge. This Labour initiative gives each and every student the chance to succeed, irrelevant of who they are and where their political affiliations lie.