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Updated: Energy plan: PN calls on Labour to publish documents, raises questions

(Adds PL's reply)

The Nationalist Party has called on Labour to publish documents and information related to its proposals on energy tariffs.

In a statement shortly after Labour unveiled its proposals, the PN  called on Labour to publish the documents related to its proposals, including documents by its consultants.

It also asked the party to publish the proposals received from private companies and contractors, the dates of meetings held with such companies and private contractors and the details of talks which, it said, had been referred to by Dr Muscat as a ‘done deal’.

The PN also asked whether any company or person whom the PL had met had made a donation to the PL or any of its officials or activists.

In a reply this afternoon, the PL said GonziPN was shocked because it did not understand that those who worked seriously could give families cheaper bills and cleaner air.

It said in a statement that Dr Gonzi had no credibility at all in the sector.

It bough a BWSC power station operated by polluting heavy fuel oil for €200 million, it found a contractor which financed the party from the Yellow Pages, a person was given €4 million in commission, businesses in Malta had the second highest bills in Europe and Maltese families had the third highest.

Labour said that the PN had made the country dependent on oil for the generation of electricity, Malta was on the lowest rung of the ladder in renewable energy generation and GonziPN's bad decisions put Enemalta on the edge on a cliff.

Moreover, these decisions would lead to even higher bills should the PN be returned to power, Labour warned.

Could GonziPN now say when, how and by how much it would increase bills, the PL asked.

AD REACTION

In its reaction, Alternattiva Demokratika said various aspects of Labour's energy plans were welcome at first glance while others can be problematic.

AD chairman Michael Briguglio said that the proposed shift from heavy fuel oil to gas was welcome.

This meant that there was cross-party consensus on a shift to cleaner energy after years of neglect in Malta's energy sector.

The importance given to renewable energy is also welcome, especially since Malta was at the bottom of the list in the EU on usage of such energy.

Labour, however, had to be clearer in its proposals. What seemed to be a progressive tariff structure was also welcome, as this could discourage waste, though this structure had to be studied in more detail.

AD said that Labour was, however, being too optimistic on the price of gas.

“Like other fossil fuels, including heavy fuel oil, its price is likely to increase in the years to come, due to increase in global demand and limited supply.

“As regards water tariffs, what is needed is to ensure that theft from boreholes is stopped, as this is creating problems of unsustainability which will result in price increases.”

AD said that its energy policy stressed that the state should have a leading role in the sector, in massive investment in renewables; and in penalising waste while subsidising basic use of energy.

AD said it will be elaborating its position on Thursday.

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