Sant attacks government in strong
In a hard hitting speech in Parliament Opposition leader
Alfred Sant has lashed out at the government for its budget, which he
felt was socially unjust, besides being unrealistic.
In one of the rather long speeches that characterise such occasions,
Dr Sant poured cold water on what many were taking as an acceptable
His main accusations centred on his claims that the government will
not achieve its projections for 2003 as stated in the budget. He said
that for the deficit to be brought down to Lm108 million, government
revenue must increase by Lm28 million over the last three months of
the year, a task which, according to Dr Sant, would be a very difficult.
The leader of the Labour Party also said government needs to collect
Lm73 million in income tax from October to December to reach Lm203 million.
That would mean collecting Lm28 million more than last year, again a
difficult task, Sant contends.
Wile VAT revenue is expected to rise by 13 percent according to budget
projections, Sant pointed out that it had merely increased by 4 percent
up to September, and he questioned how, and whether, government would
be able to make up the difference.
The leader of the Opposition also said Malta would be paying more to
the EU than receiving, and gave figures to prove his point.
Another large section of Sants speech was devoted to showing that
the budget was un-social and he accused the government of cutting expenditure
on the social sectors and spending too much on various agencies and
corporations. The Malta Financial and Business Times attempted to contact
finance minister John Dalli for his reaction, but he was unavailable