PM warns of legal action on the construction waste disposal issue unless the industry regulates itself
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has stated that in the budget, Government will give back to the people that which the country can afford, and will give back that which is sustainable for a number of years. In the course of a Castille meeting with the Developers’ Association, topics discussed, among other issues, included the lack of agreement between Government and the MDA regarding disposal of construction waste and the rent law.
The Prime Minister stated that in the next budget Government will be implementing the electoral programme through sustainable measures. Dr Muscat added that Government’s most important target is to maintain the country’s economic rhythm, leading to implementation of measures towards improvement in quality of life. Dr Muscat expressed satisfaction that the budget no longer creates uncertainty and tension, as Government has been consistent and has not increased taxes, and has done what it could to leave more money in people’s pockets.
The Castille meeting also served for a discussion on points of divergence between Government and the Developers’ Association. Referring to the rent law, the Prime Minister stated he was aware that some members of the Association were not happy with certain measures to regulate the market. Dr Muscat reiterated, however, that this was needed, as the law created a balance to safeguard the interests of both owners and tenants. In reference to the MDA’s objections regarding inspections of rented properties by the Housing Authority, Dr Muscat said Government had no intention of entering houses to carry out searches, but at the same time there will be a structure in place to fight abuses.
During the meeting, the issue was raised of disposal of construction waste, land reclamation, and the Planning Authority study for disposal of waste at sea. The Prime Minister warned that Government was prepared to invoke the law unless the industry regulated itself. The Association President Sandro Chetcuti insisted it was unfair for developers to be blamed for the waste problem, as even Government is generating a large quantity of construction waste through its projects.
Dr Muscat mentioned construction incidents during the summer months, which led to decisions and enforcement on the industry. The Prime Minister thanked the Association for its collaboration. Mr Chetcuti stated that some contractors and developers involved in these incidents were not members of the Association. Chetcuti admitted that Government was right to have taken decisions on this issue.
Mr Chetcuti presented the Association’s proposals for the budget, with the Prime Minister stating some of these would be included in the budget and others will be considered, whilst other proposals have to be examined in more detail.