Gonzi launches PN electoral campaign - 'A secure future'
Published on January 7
Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi launched the PN's electoral campaign this morning (Futur fis-sod) and the focus of the party will be on the individual, with particular emphasis on jobs, education and health.
People, he said, would be encouraged to reflect well on their future on the basis of what was achieved in the past.
The past five years had been extremely difficult for all countries, but despite the upheavals, Malta had performed well and this was something which made the government proud.
The international crises persisted and the people would be encouraged to reflect on how the PN government had a record of acting decisively to save hundreds of jobs. It was also the PN government which created 20,000 jobs.
At the same time in five years the government had reduced 25 taxes including income tax, while ensuring that the economy continued to grow.
Under the PN government, Dr Gonzi said, Malta was also able to keep health services free and growth was maintained, with 44,000 operations being performed at Mater Dei Hospital. This happened while other countries were scaling back.
In education, one new school was built every year, the University campus was enlarged and a new Mcast campus was being built. Eighty three per cent of students were now continuing to study after secondary school, a huge leap from five years ago.
The PN commitment was to do more, with job creation coming first.
Secondly, it was committing to putting more money in the pockets of pockets and businesses. That included reduced income taxes in line with the Budget commitment.
Health Services would remain free and growth would be maintained.
At the same time, it needed to be ensured that national finances remained on a sound footing because there could be no jobs, free health and better education, without funds. One only needed to recall how Labour in 1996 removed VAT, created a financial mess, and saw unemployment soar, as did taxes, while student stipends became loans.
The Prime Minister said the PN logo included many colours because the party represented unity in diversity. When questioned, Dr Gonzi said the PN wanted inclusiveness for people with disabilities in mainstream education with learning support assistants. Inclusiveness meant including people with different political opinions, gays, and people who wanted to cohabit instead of marrying.
Dr Gonzi said that while some were saying that this was a long electoral campaign, he could have opted to hold the election in April. The bottom line, however, was how well the country was doing, and it was doing very well and was the envy of other nations.
Some were also saying that the government was in power for 25 years, forgetting, or trying, with good reason, to hide Labour's 22 months in government because of the mess that was created.
Asked on the roles of Austin Gatt and Richard Cachia Caruana in the PN electoral machine, Dr Gonzi said he was not prepared to discuss individual roles because the PN worked as a team.
The PM described the PL's launch of its campaign at midnight as the start of two months of gimmicks.