Labour leader Joseph Muscat said on One Radio this morning that government has just issued a tender to study the feasibility of changing the BWSC plant that operates on Heavy Fuel Oil to make it operate on gas. “This shows the lack of vision of GonziPN in energy. The Labour Party said from the very beginning that it should operate on gas – it is good for people’s health and pockets and for the natural environment.”
Joseph Muscat said that the energy policy of the new government would reduce the water and electricity bills in a sustainable and realistic manner. “We have an energy plan to improve the quality of life of families and make businesses more competitive. We will deliver what we promise”
Muscat said that families and businesses have to suffer for the lack of vision of the government in energy generation and distribution. “Instead of having the new plant operate on gas the government spent a lot of money to try and persuade us how good it was to operate the new plant on HFO and now is spending more money to convert it to gas.”
Muscat said that the Labour Party told government that in the medium and long term gas was going to be cheaper than HFO. “It is already cheaper now.” Government is spending more not only on commissioning feasibility studies on having the plant operate on gas but will also be spending more on converting the plant to operate on gas and in the meantime people’s health and pockets suffer.”
In a private firm, those responsible for such a decision would have been sacked, said Muscat.
Joseph Muscat said that in the last few months the only legislation that passed in parliament had the support of the Opposition, except for one, the Special Purpose Vehicle. Otherwise government presented no other legislation.
That is why the Economist Intelligence Unit called this situation a crisis that is deepening and leading to legislative paralysis, said Muscat.
Joseph Muscat said that the PL is going to remain focused on the priorities and needs of families and businesses. “I hope we will get out of this recession as soon as possible. But families feel that they are losing their purchasing power, they are working more and earning less, the cost of living rises, new jobs are not stable and well paid and their quality of life is not improving.”
In a situation like this parliament is not functioning and has gone into summer recess while GonziPN enjoys his ego-trip in building a new parliament.
“We are focused on planning capital projects that generate jobs and wealth. The Prime Minister says eh enjoys watching workers on the site of the new parliament, but what the Prime Minister does not understand is that we need capital projects that continue to generate jobs and wealth after they are completed. The new parliament will not do this.”
First reading of bills
Dr Muscat said that in a lot of haste government presented a number of bills on the right of soldiers and policemen to join a union, on IVF and other at first reading which means that only the title of the bills were presented and not the bill itself.
On the IVF bill Muscat said that after both sides agreed to present a bill, government decided to drag its feet while mothers and father who look forward to having children through IVF have to wait. “I expect the new bill to reflect the agreement reached by both sides.”
Joseph Muscat said that public finances are being managed incompetently and the way the economy is being managed is very amateurish.
He said the latest statistics on the government finances shows that the situation ahs worsened with the deficit increasing by €41 million and the public debt by €126 million to reach over €4 billion.
Dr Muscat said that government will try to reach its targets by cutting down on capital projects which are needed to create jobs and wealth. “This government pays more on interest for public debt than on education.”
The politics of fear
Joseph Muscat said that government is using the politics of fear to try and scare people away from supporting the Labour Party. Some are also saying stupid things like getting rid of people in public service.
“If you want to ask about our policies or you are worried about something about what a new government would do, just call the direct line and I will answer you. Only the party shapes its policies and decisions, no one else.”