PN fights for the small fry, not the millionaires – Busuttil
If there is one party who is fighting for the small fry - the country’s small businesses and people working on minimum wage – that party is the Nationalist Party, PN leader Simon Busuttil said yesterday morning at a gathering at the party’s Lija club.
This, Dr Busuttil said, contrasted with the Labour Party, which, he said, was there for the millionaires and the people it had made millionaires.
According to Dr Busuttil, the fact that the PN is there for those who do not have a voice is evidenced by this week’s Constitutional Court victory - in which the PN was awarded an additional two parliamentary seats – where the PN fought not only for its own exigencies but for the people whose vote the Labour Party had sought to disenfranchise.
It was also evidenced by the party’s 51 proposals for the retail sector, aimed at improving the quality of life of several thousands upon thousands of small business owners and lower wage earners, as well as by the fact that the PN will fight the corner of the voiceless when it came to what he described as the crooked Vitals Group Healthcare and the Café premier deals.
We never gave up, and we will never give up
No doubt this has been a good week for the PN, Dr Busuttil said with reference to this week’s allocation of two additional parliamentary seats for the PN.
“This week, Dr Busuttil said, “This week, the highest court in the land found that an injustice had been committed, that voters’ rights have been breached. Everyone had recognised the mistakes in the 2013 vote counting process, including the Electoral Commission itself.”
But despite that, Dr Busuttil said, the Labour Party left no stone unturned to pervert the democratic process and to deny the PN and voters of their rights.
“This was a huge injustice that has now been set right,” Dr Busuttil said, “despite obstacle after obstacle that Joseph Muscat created to deny us of what was ours for almost four whole years. Now Joseph Muscat’s mask has fallen, he has been exposed as having tried to strip people of their electoral rights and who fought for four years against democracy.
“This has been a huge moral victory, not just for the PN but for the voters who did not have a voice… but we gave them a voice,” Dr Busuttil said while congratulating Edwin Vassallo and Peter Micallef, who will soon return to their seats in Parliament.
The important thing is that the PN never gave up, and it will never give up when it comes to fighting for what is right and fighting for the rights of people who do not have a voice, Dr Busuttil said.
PN’s 51 proposals for small businesses
It was also a good week for the PN, according to Dr Busuttil, because the party has continued giving a voice to low-income workers and small business owners through its retail sector strategy document and it’s proposal to reduce income taxes to 10 per cent for all small economic operators.
The party’s retail sector proposals alone, he remarked, affected some 7,000 small business owners, their 18,000-odd employees and all their families – literally several thousand people.
“These are the small fries, the small businesses owners - people who have been forgotten by this government that keeps saying that the economy is doing so well. If the economy is doing so well, then why are these people being overlooked by the government?
“While the Labour Party is there for the millionaires and for those it has made millionaires, we are there for the small businesses and their employees. The PN has always been the natural party of the small business, and, today more than ever, we stand side-by-side with you.”
Along such lines, Dr Busuttil also said he backed calls for a 3.5 per cent raise in the minimum wage, which he described as a “reasonable proposal”.
He also expressed solidarity with the soon to be laid off 200 workers at the pharmaceutical company Actavis, who received the news just before Christmas, and pledged, as has the government, that the PN would also help them find new employment.
PAC to take on Vitals and Cafe Premier contracts tomorrow
The PN would also be fighting the corner of the average citizen in the Public Accounts Committee, which will tomorrow begin scrutinising a major PN bête noire: the Vitals Global Healthcare contracts for the running of the Gozo General Hospital, Karen Grech Hospital and St Luke’s Hospital, after serious concerns were raised to the Committee by the UHM workers union and the Medical Association of Malta.
Also up for scrutiny will be the government’s controversial €4.2 million deal on Valletta’s Café Premier. Dr Busuttil said he hopes that the government, through its majority on the PAC, would not stifle or limit the Committee’s inspection of the two deals up for scrutiny.
No substance, Labour says
Beyond the euphoric celebrations to remain in opposition, Simon Busuttil fails to offer any substance to families and instead seems to be only interested in fighting, a Labour Party statement said.
Labour added that Dr Busuttil is preaching to vulnerable persons for the sake of political convenience and that the people will not forget that the PN raised electricity and water bills, taxed the minimum wage, and froze pensions.
The party also claimed that Dr Busuttil confirmed that in the medical sector he would wish to have it as was previously with closed hospitals, under-stocked medicines, and long waiting lists.