Malta Labour Party outlines it’s plans for Gozo

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Malta Labour Party leader Alfred Sant said yesterday that his party has prepared a comprehensive plan to give the island of Gozo and its citizens a breath of fresh air.

Speaking in Victoria yesterday morning, Dr Sant said the party, after being given the mandate in the next general election, will start putting into practice its plan in order to give the country, including Gozo, a well deserved change.

He said the MLP was not only criticising but was also offering alternative solutions. The party, he said, has a dedicated team of people who are prepared to lead the country in a different way and who will get the country out of the dark alley into which the Nationalist Party government has led it.

“We are not promising miracles, but with a focused plan, we can improve the standard of living of Maltese and Gozitan families,” he said.

The Labour leader said unemployment was one of the problems being faced by Maltese families and this, along with the exorbitant rise in the cost of living, was making it difficult for these families to make ends meet.

Dr Sant said that the cost of food, property and, especially, medicine is not only having a drastic social effect but is also affecting the way people live. The MLP is planning to combat the rise in the cost of living, he said, by commissioning a six monthly report on changes in prices, especially for medicines. In the last two years, medicines have become much more expensive and the government has done nothing about it, he charged.

Dr Sant also commented on the changeover to the euro, the single European currency. He said there are already several businesses that are not converting the price to euro correctly, according to the established conversion rate. Certain businesses are already taking the upper hand about this change to the euro, he said.

On the water and electricity surcharge, Dr Sant repeated that between 20 and 25 per cent of this surcharge is compensating for the inefficiencies and mismanagement at Enemalta and how electricity is generated. He reiterated the MLP proposals to cap the Value Added Tax on fuel in order to reduce the surcharge by between 40 and 50 per cent.

Referring to the reduction in the surcharge announced earlier this month, Dr Sant said this was less than the reduction in the actual cost of oil which, he said, meant that the government was taking advantage of this in order to make more money.

Dr Sant also spoke about the contract for cleaning services at the Law Courts that had been awarded to a company owned by people related to prison inmate Mario Camilleri, known as l-Imniehru. Dr Sant said he could not understand how parliamentary secretary in the Justice Ministry Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici has still not stepped down.

The Labour Leader also spoke about how architectural work in connection with a new administration block for the Malta Maritime Authority is being carried out by the company owned by MMA chairman Marc Bonello. He claimed this company is also involved in the project for the PN?s new headquarters. On the same lines, Dr Sant also mentioned that most of the road contracts in Gozo are awarded to the same company.

He said that this year has been a bad one for Gozo?s tourism, with the closure of at least three hotels, the L-Imgarr Hotel, the Atlantis Hotel and the Andar Hotel.

Turning to the helicopter service between Malta and Gozo, Dr Sant claimed that the government had deliberately intended not to let this service work out because it wanted to go ahead with its original plans to build an airstrip in Gozo. What was the intention behind this, he asked.

Dr Sant said the MLP has one of the best position papers on Gozo. “As soon as we are in government, after the next general election, we are prepared to give Malta and Gozo a breath of fresh air. We have a good team that is committed to work for this country,” he concluded.

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