PN fights for the small fry, not the mil­lion­aires – Busut­til

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

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.

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