Government using funds to better quality of life
The government was using the money from taxation and EU funds to better the people's quality of life, the Prime Minister said yesterday.
Interviewed on the Nationalist Party's radio station hours before leaving for a two-week visit to Australia, Dr Gonzi said new systems and services such as the pharmacy of your choice scheme were the result of an investment to enable people to cut down on travelling and waiting time.
The service, which will start as a pilot project in Mosta, will enable patients to get free medicines from the pharmacy closest to their home.
The Prime Minister said he had realised the importance of reviewing the system when he visited families before this year's local council elections and was told how inconvenient collecting medicines was.
The government was also investing in many important sectors including the retraining of workers, education and other sectors through which the country could respond to employment challenges that resulted from the closure of certain manufacturing industries.
He said he understood the woes faced by people who had been laid off as a result of recent closures of textile companies such as VF and the relocating of Bortex, Dr Gonzi said, adding that the government would be using EU funds on schemes to retrain workers, targeting the new high-end industry that was being attracted to the island.
"EU funds will not just be used on roads. Far from it. We believe in the need to sustain the education of young people and retraining workers," Dr Gonzi said.
One main strength of the Nationalist Party in government was its capability of creating job opportunities, unlike successive Labour governments which had been unable to curb unemployment, he added.
The country's positive economic results had become vital criteria for companies that had chosen to invest here and which were, in turn, creating new job opportunities.
Commenting on the recent sale of Melita Cable, Dr Gonzi said the investors had chosen to invest in the company both because of the company's good management and its prospects and even because of the country's reliability and financial stability and the fact that it would adopt the euro.
The family was a core value in the government's policies, which was why the main theme in the recently-published pre-budget document was Families Growing Stronger.
Dr Gonzi announced last week the government was considering increasing the children's allowance thresholds next year.