Muscat: scrutinise St Philip’s lease deal
Opposition Leader Joseph Muscat yesterday repeatedly asked the Government to refrain from signing the contract to lease St Philip’s Hospital before it is reviewed by the Auditor-General, the Public Accounts Committee and ultimately by the whole House.
Winding up an urgent debate in Parliament that he had requested, with no vote taken, Dr Muscat insisted the Government had not told Parliament what the conditions of the deal were.
The Government had earlier said the deal would be referred to scrutiny by the Auditor-General and the PAC after signing.
Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi said the Cabinet had been involved in a “long and tortuous” process over the lease, lasting 30 months.
Health Minister Joseph Cassar and Finance Minister Tonio Fenech gave a blow-by-blow account of the negotiations while Nationalist MP Franco Debono hit out at the Government for agreeing to hold the debate without a vote.
Earlier, Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando (Independent) tabled a motion to make himself a member of the House Business Committee, in a move linked to the Government’s determination to sign the lease without subjecting it to scrutiny.