PL replies as Gonzi asks if contractors are dictating Labour's policy
Updated 2.30 p.m.
Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi said this morning that Labour leader Joseph Muscat could not continue staying silent on the comments made on Sunday by his former deputy Anglu Farrugia.
Most importantly, Dr Gonzi said, the Labour leader needed to comment on Dr Farrugia's remarks about contractors' links with the Labour Party.
Were contractors dictating Labour policy?
Dr Gonzi made his comments in reply to questions during a press conference which focused mostly on community care for the elderly and primary healthcare.
The Nationalist leader said a new PN government would build two new regional health centres, one in St Julian's and the other in the south of Malta. That was part of plans to give priority on primary healthcare, reducing the pressure on hospital services.A new PN government would invest more in the creation of public-private partnerships to strengthen and upgrade home-help and other community services such as Telecare and give tax incentives for those elderly persons engaging home carers.
Tax incentives would also be given for people who take unpaid leave to care for the elderly.
The PN's proposals included a €500 allowance for all those people aged over 75 who stayed at home. This would be introduced from the beginning of next year.
In a reaction, the Labour Party said the prime minister was not credible when he spoke on relations with contractors.
One only needed to remember how a senior political figure, not in the Labour Party, had gone around Europe on a yacht belonging to a contractor who was awarded several government contracts worth millions of euros.
It was Dr Gonzi who needed to explain how much was donated to the PN by Zaren Vassallo in the past eight years. He also needed to explain whether senior PN officials had pressured leading businessmen for donations to the party.
Dr Gonzi should also publish the PN's accounts.
The PL also pointed out that it was environment NGOs who had called for a separation of Mepa's planning and environment functions.