PM hides be­hind ‘the­atrics, per­sonal at­tacks and lies’ – Si­mon Busut­til

Malta Independent - - NEWS - Ju­lian Bon­nici

Prime Min­is­ter Joseph Mus­cat hid be­hind “the­atrics, per­sonal at­tacks and lies” when re­ply­ing to the is­sues raised by the leader of the Op­po­si­tion re­gard­ing this year's bud­get, Dr Busut­til said last night in re­ac­tion to Dr Mus­cat’s bud­get re­ply ear­lier.

This, ac­cord­ing to Dr Busut­til, proved that the bud­get had no sub­stance, and he called Dr Mus­cat a “sales­man of a failed prod­uct”.

Dr Busut­til pointed to the lack of re­duc­tion in en­ergy tar­iffs, ques­tion­ing why Dr Mus­cat in­sists on not us­ing the in­ter­con­nec­tor in­tro­duced by the pre­vi­ous ad­min­is­tra­tion when it would pro­vide cheaper rates for the gen­eral pop­u­la­tion. This, he said, showed that the bud­get mea­sures sim­ply do not trans­late to an econ­omy for the peo­ple.

With re­gard to so­cial jus­tice, Dr Busut­til said that the Prime Min­is­ter was once again us­ing lofty words to avoid the truth. He pointed to an in­crease in poverty lev­els among pen­sion­ers since the be­gin­ning of Dr Mus­cat’s term in of­fice, and la­belled the mea­sures in this year's bud­get, once again, as purely cos­metic.

Dr Mus­cat failed to ad­dress and im­prove the qual­ity of life for the pop­u­la­tion, Dr Busut­til claimed. He pointed to the lack of proper projects, ini­tia­tives and in­cen­tives in the trans­port sec­tor, and also crit­i­cised the Prime Min­is­ter’s at­tacks on the PN’s pro­pos­als for al­ter­na­tive trans­port. He also ques­tioned why the in­cen­tive that will see 18-year-olds be­ing granted a year of free pub­lic trans­port was not ex­tended to gov­ern­ment school and Church school stu­dents.

Fi­nally, Busut­til attacked the gov­ern­ment’s in­abil­ity to main­tain clean lead­er­ship, specif­i­cally with re­spect to the cases of Min­is­ter Kon­rad Mizzi and Dr Mus­cat’s chief of staff Keith Schem­bri and for re­tain­ing them re­gard­less of the Panama Pa­pers’ rev­e­la­tions last Fe­bru­ary.

Asked by The Malta In­de­pen­dent whether the Euro­pean Union’s de­ci­sion to in­tro­duce leg­is­la­tion favour­ing liq­ue­fied nat­u­ral gas, which his MEPs’ also favoured, could be in­ter­preted as a con­flict­ing mes­sage in view of the PN’s stance against the LNG tanker, Dr Busut­til said: “The PN’s po­si­tion was never against the use of gas as an en­ergy source, but, rather, the safety risks as­so­ci­ated with hav­ing an LNG tanker berthed so close to Marsaxlokk, which we have dis­cov­ered could ex­pe­ri­ence dif­fi­cul­ties in stormy weather.”

Dr Mus­cat failed to ad­dress and im­prove the qual­ity of life for the pop­u­la­tion

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