Speculation is rife. The percentage of undecided voters is too high to enable any statistician to come up with projections which fall within comfortable confidence levels.
What will decide the result of the election?
The electorate is no longer that huge mass of people who follow blindly in the footsteps of a leader. There are 25 years of past performance of a Nationalist Government (PN) and 4 years of past performance of a Labour Government (PL).
Both parties have made mistakes of judgment.
Both parties have made administrative mistakes.
Both parties have always had Malta’s finances, Malta’s Health Care System, Malta’s employment levels and Malta’s Traffic Scenario as the pillars which determine quality of life.
How did both parties perform in these and what are they proposing?
Under the PN, each financial year closed with a deficit. For the first time, this year the financial year closed with a surplus under a PL government.
The PL has started distributing wealth back to the people. Also, the electoral proposals are based on further distribution of wealth such as revision of the income tax bands, removal of Matsec fees, reform to the pensions, reduced tax for overtime payments, increase Student Smart Card by Eur100.
The PN proposals mirror some of the proposals of the PL or are proposals of measures which have already been implemented in the last budget. Also, some PN proposals, which involve large amounts of money, have not been thought through in sufficient detail to ensure that they are sustainable such as the proposal of the Eur10,000 grant for purchasing property in Gozo which presents a high risk of automatically inflating all Gozo property prices by Eur10,000.
Malta’s Health Care System
The PN administration left Mater Dei with major structural defects in its construction, huge waiting lists for operations and services and the most-humiliating problem of patients on stretchers or beds in corridors.
In a period of four years the waiting lists have been addressed. There are minimal delays for operations and there are no people being treated in corridors. Also, the structural damage was repaired.
Malta’s Employment Levels
Never before have the statistics shown such low levels of unemployment. The PL government did not just lower the unemployment statistics but addressed the problem of precarious work which was rife also within government departments and parastatal entities under the PN Government. The PL government has set about systems for increasing employment of disabled persons and proposals in the manifesto include employment incentives and industry relocation to Gozo.
The PN did nothing of the sort. Unemployment levels were at record high during the PN administration.
Malta’s Traffic Scenario
In 25 years of a PN administration existing roads were resurfaced and upgraded however the only increase to the network were the St Venera Tunnels leading to Mriehel Bypass. Hence, in 2013 the traffic was operating on a road network which was designed for traffic flows of the 1970s. Then the PN gave us the ARRIVA system which failed because the system destroyed that interconnectivity between the urban patterns and public transport patterns which had developed over the years.
The PL Government introduced the successful bus card system and reviewed all the public transport routes. As a result, the statistics for bus ticket sales show a constant increase.
The PL Government implemented various projects such as the Kappara junction, the first Intelligent Traffic Mangement System Project with CCTVs and Variable Message Signs being controlled through a Traffic Control Centre has been implemented, the Tidal Lane Systems, the Addolorata Junction in Marsa will be re-designed, the Coast Road was upgraded and completed, the road through Dock 7.
The first Malta Transport Plan has been prepared which lays out the foundations for the future of road planning in Malta based on scientific analysis and data.
The Labour Government has achieved a lot in four years and has garnered sufficient experience to continue on this upward trend in the next five years to come, based on the Electoral Manifesto Proposals which are clear, focused and realistic and which show a determination to succeed further.
The Nationalist Government left a country in debt, with high unemployment levels and a congested traffic system. The PN proposals for the next five years to come are still unclear, undefined or very premature and lacking in-depth analysis. The PN Campaign has been characterized by mud-slinging and unfounded allegations rather than on proposals for the next five years.
What do I want for my country?
I want a government which is prepared to govern through strong leadership and focused objectives.
I want a government which can generate wealth through strong financial management.
I want a government who has shown me what it can do so that I can be confident of what it will do in the next five years.
I want a Labour Government.
And you, what do you want?