At a news conference earlier this morning Chris Fearne, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Health and candidate for the Labour Party leadership, submitted a 10-point plan which will form the master plan of the government if he is elected prime minister. Among his top priorities Fearne has listed the fight against poverty, housing and better governance.
The 10 points are:
1 – Governance – “The situation today requires the immediate addressing of the issue of governance. If I am elected Labour leader and Prime Minister, I will call a conference which will address all the necessary reforms,” Fearne said. He added that for this conference will be open for all stakeholders; Government and opposition, all political parties, civil society organizations as well as representatives of institutions. He said that this conference must also decide how to appoint the Commissioner of Police and the Attorney General. Fearne again indicated that he prefers that both the Commissioner of Police and the Attorney General be elected by two-thirds of Parliament.
2 – Building on the successes – “We continue to build on the successes of the economic model we have sustained in recent years. Fostering and build on what has been done … but with more transparency,” said Fearne. He continued that while opportunities for business should continue these should be guided by meritocracy. He also said that a government led him will continue to boost construction.
3 – Environment – “The environment should be given the priority it deserves and in the coming days I will be announcing an ambitious plan of how we shall increase green spaces all over Malta and Gozo,” Fearne stated.
4 – Our social conscience – “I have already announced that if I am elected as PM, we will need to show more our party values, then we will seek to introduce the concept of equal pay for equal work, to regulate the position of those working with contractors. ” Fearne said that there are some 2000 privately-employed workers who are currently servicing the government.
5 – Immigration and foreign workers – “While we recognize the need for foreign workers, we need to ensure that the country’s infrastructure able to meet demand.” He added that while our country should be considerate, we can no longer try to resolve the problem alone.
6 – housing – “During this campaign I will be announcing plans to mitigate this problem. Housing is to remain one of our top priorities.” He reiterated that this problem needs to be solved quickly and aggressively.
7 – Transport – “We need to work on clean transport, for the benefit of the whole country.” Chris Fearne said that after the current roadworks are completed, “we will be working on bolstering public transport.”
8 – Our role in Europe – “We need to repair the reputational damage we have sustained in Europe.”
9 – Quality of life – “Money is important but it is not enough,” said Fearne claiming that there is a need to further improve the health services and bolster more robust prevention systems. “We will improve the education we offer, with lifelong education, boost sport, achieving a good balance between work and family life, making our country a great place to live and bring up your children.”
10 – Labour Party – “I want to see the necessary reforms continue to further strengthen the Labour Party,” said Fearne. He argued that the party needs to continue to be inclusive and participant in government but not part of the Government and therefore there needs to be a distinction between the government and the Party.