The Prime Minister and Labour leader Joseph Muscat has made it clear that social housing will be available for those who really need it. Speaking at Imgarr, Dr Muscat referred to the projects for the building of over 1,000 social housing units. The Prime Minister stated that mistakes in social housing had been commited by all governments, and expressed the hope that henceforth a Government housing unit would not continue to be inherited within the family.
Dr Muscat declared that a new mentality has to be introduced, being that the handing over of a key will only be the start of a process. The Prime Minister explained that a family benefiting from social housing will have their progress followed by social workers, and Government wants to ensure these families move forward and can eventually purchase their own properties.
Dr Muscat stated that Government had taken care not to build social housing on ODZ land, and at the same time is ensuring that these buildings in 22 localities do not end up as ghettoes. The speaker added that Government could have ended up spending less if it had to develop all these units in one place, but this would be bad both socially and environmentally.
Referring to the rent market, the Prime Minister stated that the White Paper had been well received by all parties, and Government now has to move on to decision stage, whilst taking into account the different interests in this complicated market. Dr Muscat said Governent would continue to offer its assistance to those wanting to purchase their first home, and had even increased the subsidy for those renting from private sources. The Prime Minister added that Government’s efforts have to remain focused on assisting families in need and continuing to reduce poverty. Government, the speaker further stated, likewise did not want persons to be burdened with bank debts which they could not afford. For this reason a scheme is to be launched for persons aged over 40 who wish to purchase their own home.
Dr Muscat remarked that today being a public holiday, wotkers would benefit from an extra day’s leave which had been taken from them without any consultation. The Prime Minister promised that all public holidays falling on weekends will start to be enjoyed through an increase in workers’ leave entitlements. The Prime Minister expressed satisfaction at the European Commission report whih showed that Malta will experience the highest economic growth among European Union countries. Dr Muscat criticised the Opposition for always trying to sow doubts and insecurity, and for not realising that the people do not want this style of politics.