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Muscat underlines job creation in first mass meeting

Labour leader Joseph Muscat underlined his party's commitment to job creation, including the creation of jobs in Gozo, when he addressed Labour's first campaign mass meeting this afternoon, in Victoria Gozo.

At the opening of his speech Dr Muscatsaid  the time for change was now, in Gozo as much as Malta. The Labour Party had become a movement for change which embraced people from all walks of life and all sectors of society.

He said Labour's priority was jobs, including jobs in Gozo for the Gozitans.

At the same time, the PL remained committed to preserving and improvement the environment in Gozo.

Development in Gozo had to parallel that of Malta and the voice of the Gozitans would be heard louder than ever before in a Labour government.

He said a labour government would support investment in Gozo, particularly with regard to tourism, and it would ensure that all Gozitans benefited.

Labour would also back all studies for improved connections between Malta and Gozo, including the possible tunnel.

Dr Muscat spoke on the electricity tariffs and said this would benefit all Maltese and Gozitans. Labour would be the government which would put money in the people's pockets. The power tariff cuts would also give businesses the elbow room they needed to invest and create jobs. Labour's energy plan would see savings of €77 million every year, which would be ploughed back in the country. This was very different from spending €80m in a roofless theatre or a parliament building.

The PN reaction to the PL energy plan was one of panic, he said, with the government even giving the impression that it did not trust the private sector.

Labour, he said, would keep its promises, not like the PN, which had promised to reduce the top rate of income tax to 25% but failed to do so.

Dr Muscat said Labour was not impressed by the PN's scaremongering, because its plans were well grounded. The people, too, would not be fooled by the Nationalist Party. He was personally standing by Labour's plan to introduce clean energy for Malta because that was what was needed for the people's health. This was what Ghal uliedna u ulied uliena was about.

"I don’t want to hear of one child who gets sick because of the power station. I don’t want these deaths on my conscience. If I can make a difference, I will make it. This is my vision. This is what makes Malta Taghna Lkoll," he said to cheers.

The PN, he said, were resisting in the same way as they had initially resisted the lifting of VAT on vehicle registration tax and the tax on satellite TV licences, only to then back-pedal. Labour remained committed to refunding the VAT on vehicle licences.

Dr Muscat reiterated his party's commitment to introduce civil partnerships for same sex couples. He acknowledged that some may have doubts about this move, but said Labour wanted to end discrimination in all its forms, including discrimination against gays, in the same way as, 40 years ago, a Labour government decriminalised homosexuality. A Labour government would not interfere in people's personal choices.

Dr Muscat returned to his call for national unity, saying he looked forward to the day when Labourites celebrated independence with Nationalists and Nationalists celebrated freedom day with labourites. Malta was the country of everyone, he stressed to applause and cheers.

Earlier Dr Muscat visited the only family still living in Comino and heard their complaints about their costs to cross to Malta or Gozo for frequent hospital treatment.

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