Current Affairs
UPDATED: PM says he will not leave either before or after the budget

Prime Minister and Labour Party leader Joseph Muscat has stated he is not planning to leave either before, during or after the budget.

Dr Muscat declared that the most important thing was not simply for Government to plan the budget, but rather, to implement it so that the country would move forward.

The Prime Minister further stated that budget priorities include Government continuing to work to eliminate poverty, whilst helping to improve workers’ salaries.

Dr Muscat pointed out that during the summer break, Government still continued working with preparations for the budget. The Prime Minister declared that he is not thinking of leaving, either before, during or after the budget. In an interview on ONE RADIO, Dr Muscat declared that the most important thing was that budget measures would not just remain on paper, but they would be implemented for the country to move forward.

Dr Muscat further stated that through the budget, Government would continue to work to create a new middle class and ensure that those who were doing well would continue to do well. The Prime Minister added that Government is determined to eradicate poverty, and that no child living in a family with at least one person in employment will be in danger of poverty. Referring to the economic plan, Dr Muscat stated that Government would continue to assist enterprises to invest, as Government was, still is and will remain pro-business.

The Prime Minister announced with satisfaction that during the past seven years unemployment has never been discussed, adding however that there have been discussions on the need for more workers, including foreign workers. Referring to the Moneyval report, Dr Muscat stated that this committee’s reports have always been critical of the country. The Prime Minister added that Government has drawn up a list of what it has to do, and is confident that the points raised will be implemented.

Referring to the rent law, Dr Muscat stated that initially, the Opposition had appeared in favour of the reform, but after the Chamber of Commerce and the Developers’ Association had voiced their opinions, the Opposition changed its tack. The Prime Minister said he understood these bodies would speak out on behalf of their members, but he could not understand the Opposition’s change of position, when it had previously spoken out in favour of tenants. Dr Muscat reiterated that the rent law was a balanced one.

Regarding the state of cleanliness, Dr Muscat declared he was not satisfied with the coordination between the entities involved. The Prime Minister added that a national conference on cleanliness will be organised in November, and systems in place for the benefit of everyone will be improved upon.

Speaking about the reform for equality between the sexes in Parliament, the Prime Minister said it seems the Opposition is in agreement, adding that a mechanism will be put in place to attract more women to politics.