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PM asks Labour: Where will the money come from?

Dr Gonzi addressing young people this morning.

Dr Gonzi addressing young people this morning.

Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi insisted this morning that Labour needed to explain where it would get the money it needed to keep its election promises.

Speaking at a political conference in San Gwann, Dr Gonzi said Labour was promising everything to everyone.

But the people should ask themselves – Has Labour suddenly struck oil? Has it found some hidden treasure? If not, how will it fund the many promises which it is making?

In the activity Dr Gonzi answered several questions from young people. He underlined the importance which the Nationalist Party gives to education and job-creation, pointing to the opening of new schools and sports facilities, including tax incentives on tariffs paid for sports training.

Dr Gonzi said the people knew where they stood with the PN because the PN government has passed its sternest test, job creation, at a time of severe international economic conditions.

Where it was unable to keep its promises, the PN explained the reasons why. But the government kept its priority of safeguarding jobs. Abroad, people were protesting in the streets, while Malta was one of the best performers in job creation.

The people should remember how Labour did not keep the promises it made in 1996, the last time it was in government. For example, Labour promised to remove VAT. At that time, as today, Labour while in Opposition was vague about what it would do in government.

And then once it was in government, VAT was replaced by something which was much worse, and the people were lumped with 33 new taxes.

"Be wary of the promises that Labour is making, because promises which undermine Malta's competitiveness will undermine the future of jobs in this country," Dr Gonzi said.

The prime minister also asked Labour to explain how it intended to reduce power tariffs when oil prices were over $100 per barrel and rising.

Labour, he recalled, had raised power tariffs when oil prices were $12 a barrel, and Dr Muscat had been in favour at the time. Would he now explain his plans?

He asked if Labour's plans were based on the Sargas power station proposal. That proposal, he said, had been studied by the government and been found wanting. Had Labour studied the proposal? What meetings were held? What was its position?

He was confident, Dr Gonzi said, that when the time came, the people would make the right choices for the country and society.

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