Muscat: Only Labour can implement the Budget measures
Labour leader Joseph Muscat said tonight that Malta was in a situation where the government had announced Budget measures whose introduction could only be guaranteed by Labour.
Giving his reaction to the Budget speech, Dr Muscat said that if this was the best the government could do, the people could be assured that Labour would do better.
The government, he said did not know if the Budget would be approved by Parliament, and thus it was only Labour which could guarantee that the good points of the Budget would be retained.
It was only Labour, not the government, which could give peace of mind.
Dr Muscat said this was the last flourish by a government which was in its final moments, and Labour was promising that it would do more to bring about economic growth and better living standards.
This, he said, was an arrogant government which had not kept its promises throughout the legislature and now was saying it would give the people something back, when it did not know whether it actually could.
This was a government which had promised a Budget surplus but created deficits and had seen the debt run out of control.
The government had shown that it did not know how the economy functioned and as a result the people were seeing fewer jobs, deteriorating conditions and some of the highest utility prices in Europe.
This was a government which had promised tax cuts to everyone, yet in terms of the Budget, it was only the top earners who would benefit. The middle class and those lower down would not benefit. Indeed, those on the minimum wage with a single computation would pay more tax. And those who would benefit from the tax cuts would only save in a year as much as the ministers made in a week with the raise they gave themselves.
Despite the measures announced in this Budget, Dr Muscat said, a future Labour government would still carry on with its plans to reduce utility tariffs. It would also work to improve the conditions of the middle class and those on the small income, who had been forgotten by a government which had lost its social soul.
He also promised that if the government introduced more costs, a Labour government would raise salaries and back date them to January 1.