Lawrence Gonzi said that a ‘good captain does not abandon a sinking ship’. He said this when addressing a gathering in Gozo as part of the Independence Day celebrations. Although few people agree with his own definition of a ‘good captain’, many if not all, agree that he is at the helm of a ‘sinking ship’. He ran the Maltese economy aground and in his obstinate way he is making salvage far more difficult.
The Prime Minister had been known to be a good talker, previously. In the run-up to the election he has lost all sense of decency. He said that the Labour party will freeze the ‘minimum wage’, which is untrue and he has taken the Leader of the PL to task about the ‘living wage’. It is a fact that he keeps interpreting figures badly, but he has now even resorted to changing and adding statements made by the PL leader.
Joseph Muscat said that the minimum wage will not be increased beyond the annual COLA adjustment, meaning that it will increase by the same yardstick that the Gonzi administration has increased it. This is a statutory increase agreed to with practically all social partners in Malta. Yet Gonzi changed it round completely by saying that Labour will ‘freeze’ the minimum wage. He has lied so often about the PL that he now believes his own lies. Luckily the people no longer do so.
It would have been far easier for the Labour party to act irresponsibly and increase the minimum wage to unsustainable levels. The Labour party knows that in the economic climate that it will inherit, government coffers would not sustain such an additional cost, without going for an additional loan. This is what the Gonzi government has done and our National debt has reached record proportions. We now take loans to pay off loans and our debt servicing is draining the country. The PL knows that, by an uncontrolled increase in the minimum wage, local businesses, which are finding it very hard to cope, would have to close shop. This would, in turn, create unemployment. Had the Prime Minister listened to Joseph Muscat’s speech and had he wanted to be honest, he would not have spoken the way he did.
Lawrence Gonzi is so obsessed with holding on to power that he tries to fool the electorate to keep them from voting for the change that the country needs. He falsely accused the PL leader of forgetting the ‘living wage’. Joseph Muscat has said, on several occasions, and more than once this past week, that a decrease in the rates of water and electricity bills would leave more spending money in people’s pockets. Dr. Gonzi should know that a ‘living wage’ does not necessarily mean an increase in the pay packet. By reducing day to day expenses (such as the cost of utility bills), the balance will automatically increase the purchasing power of what is left. This is a simple mathematical exercise but GonziPN wants people to believe that a ‘living wage’ is an increase in wage and not a living on the wage one gets.
The Labour party is committed to the welfare of the people. It will reduce water and electricity bills and it will introduce incentives for commercial expansion. The priorities of a new Labour government will be economic growth and an improved standard of living but it will not fool people with false promises the way Gonzi & Co. have done. Joseph Muscat said ‘what you see is what you get’ and that is exactly what the people expect, a government that does not go back on its party’s promises.