Prime Minister and Labour Party Leader Joseph Muscat gave a breakdown of how Malta has changed for the better in the past ten years.
Dr Muscat stated that, just like ten years ago, the Nationalist Party is still split. The Prime Minister added that this places more responsibility on the Government, as it is determined to forge ahead with its reformist agenda through more efforts on behalf of the Maltese and Gozitans.
Inspired by the ten-year challenge currently doing the rounds on social media, Dr Muscat compared various sections of the country to show the change that has been brought about from ten years ago through Government’s efforts. Dr Muscat stated that ten years ago, the people’s biggest headache was the water and electricity bills. Today the Maltese can put their minds at rest on the strength of investment in this sector.
Speaking at Zurrieq, Dr Muscat remarked that ten years ago, everyone was crying out for work. By contrast, the Prime Minister added, the situation today is reversed, with job opportunities chasing people, and with Maltese workers seeking quality posts. Dr Muscat added that ten years ago, those who could afford to send their children to childcare were considered wealthy, whereas today this service is free for everyone. The same goes for free school transport. Referring to poverty, whilst recognising that still more needs to be done, Dr Muscat said this had been halved, including through incentives for more persons to join the labour market and through increases in pensions.
The Prime Minister stated that ten years ago the deficit was on everyone’s lips, and today the country has a surplus and has money put aside in the national fund through income from the citizenship programme. Dr Muscat added that ten years ago public transport was chaotic, and today it is much better. On infrastructure, the Prime Minister stated that projects like the Central Link will improve traffic flow and the environment.
For the first time ever, Dr Muscat stated, the Courts are handing down more sentences than the number of new cases. The speaker also referred to the difference in civil liberties, which have given the right to anyone to marry the person they love. The next step is an increase in participation of women in politics.
Dr Muscat declared that the only thing remaining unchanged from ten years ago is that the Nationalist Party is still split like it was ten years ago.
Faced with this situation, the Prime Minister added, the responsibility on Government continues to grow. Dr Muscat further stated that Government is determined to continue to forge ahead with its reformist agenda to build a Malta for tomorrow which will be a success for everyone.