PN’s vote-16 mo­tion will have to wait as bud­get takes up Par­lia­ment’s Oc­to­ber sched­ule

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

The Na­tion­al­ist Party com­plained yes­ter­day that its mo­tion on Vote16 was not in­cluded in the 30-day sched­ule pre­sented by the gov­ern­ment to the House Busi­ness Com­mit­tee. The gov­ern­ment in­sisted that prac­ti­cally all sit­tings in the com­ing four weeks will be taken up by the end­less bud­get speeches and there are sim­ply no slots left.

The four-week sched­ule was pre­sented by gov­ern­ment whip God­frey Far­ru­gia dur­ing a meet­ing of the Par­lia­men­tary House Busi­ness Com­mit­tee yes­ter­day af­ter­noon.

The gov­ern­ment will present next year’s bud­get on Mon­day, 17 Oc­to­ber. This will be fol­lowed by the Op­po­si­tion leader’s re­ply, and the Prime Min­is­ter’s re­ply to that re­ply. Par­lia­ment will then start de­bat­ing the fi­nan­cial es­ti­mates of the dif­fer­ent min­istries (there are 16, in­clud­ing the Of­fice of the Prime Min­is­ter). These will last un­til the se­cond week of Novem­ber. The bud­get vote will take place on a yet un­de­cided date, af­ter it is given the EU green light.

PN Deputy Leader Mario de Marco asked if any of the PN’s mo­tions – there are sev­eral pend­ing mo­tions – could be in­cluded in the sched­ule pre­sented. But the Gov­ern­ment Whip said this was not pos­si­ble as there were sim­ply no slots avail­able.

His Op­po­si­tion coun­ter­part, David Agius, said the gov­ern­ment had de­clared it­self in favour of the PN’s vote16 mo­tion. Was the gov­ern­ment not in­ter­ested in de­bat­ing this mo­tion at the ear­li­est, he asked.

Dr Far­ru­gia in­sisted that there was no way the mo­tion could be de­bated in the next four weeks.

Mr Agius asked if the gov­ern­ment was say­ing that the PN mo­tion was not im­por­tant.

“All these mo­tions are equally im­por­tant but the bud­get speeches had to be held over the com­ing weeks,” Econ­omy Min­is­ter Chris Car­dona said.

Speaker Anglu Far­ru­gia sug­gested that another meet­ing of the House Busi­ness Com­mit­tee be held be­fore the cur­rent sched­ule ex­pires, with the pos­si­bil­ity that the PN mo­tion is in­cluded in the next sched­ule. Both par­ties agreed.

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