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PN’s promises are ‘incredible’

The Labour Party yesterday described as “incredible and unrealistic” the Nationalist Party’s plans to fund the €120 million a year it needs to fulfil its electoral promises through increased efficiency in govern-ment expenditure.

Reacting to the PN’s costing of its electoral pledges, Edward Scicluna and Karmenu Vella said the whole funding programme was based on “assumptions” that were “too optimistic”.

Prof. Scicluna asked whether the funds would be obtained through higher taxation.

If this increased efficiency was not achieved, the country’s deficit would go up by 1.5 percentage points every year, he said.

He also described as too optimistic the PN’s plan to reduce the deficit and achieve a surplus budget while at the same time reducing debt levels. Even the projected economic growth was unrealistic, he said.

“We all know the record that the Nationalist Party and Finance Minister Tonio Fenech hold with regard to reaching set ­­targets,” Mr Vella said.

He asked whether the Government would be funding €120 million a year through cuts in expenditure on health, education or the elderly, for example.

Mr Fenech was the same person who, in 2008, promised a reduction in taxes but then raised water and electricity tariffs, he said.

“Here we have the same people, the same promises and the same inefficiencies.”

Asked for the total annual cost of Labour’s own electoral proposals, Prof. Scicluna told The Times to wait until the party announced all its measures and published the details of the costs.

Similarly, he asked journalists to wait for the official announcement when asked whether the Labour Party had any plans to achieve a balanced budget.

The party, however, did not plan to introduce any austerity measures to achieve its financial goals, he added.

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