Association of former MPs disappointed after amendments to Pensions Act withdrawn
The Secretary of the Association of former MPs Lino Debono has expressed his disappointment that the Government and the Opposition went back on their word to address the anomalies in the pensions of former MPs. This was after the Government withdrew its amendment to the Act after the Opposition changed its mind over the agreement to these amendments. According to information obtained by TVM , the amendments could possibly affect around 25 MPs who only served in one legislature.
Lino Debono said that although these amendments would not have affected him, there are former MPs from both sides of the House who will be adversely affected.
“We are very disappointed, because while most of us have a pension, there are many members who were Government employees, who contested an election, served for one term, died and their families have ended up with nothing.”
Mr Debono said that following discussions which have been ongoing for two years, it appeared that an agreement had been reached, until the Opposition went back on its word.
The Whip for the PN Parliamentary Group Robert Cutajar explained that the Opposition changed its position because it had felt the pulse of the people. “We felt we should listen to what people were saying, and that the people should come first and foremost. We are therefore asking the Government for the law to not be discussed any further, which is a clear signal for us that our obligation is to serve,” he said.
Labour party Whip Byron Camilleri said that the Government had to step back because it wanted the amendments to be carried out with full consensus.
Dr Camilleri said that, “this law concerns minor anomalies following an increase in all the pensions throughout Malta and Gozo and definitely, those who froze pensions 25 years ago are not in a position to talk.”
Meanwhile the Democratic Party which objected to the amendments said that this step represents a victory for the public because he alleged that the two parties had come to an agreement on these amendments behind people’s backs.