The payment system for cars to enter Valletta would be reformed and the Government was considering reverting to the old annual V licence to drive into the capital, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said.

The Whistleblower’s Act will come into force by the end of July when Parliament rises for its summer recess

The Government was also looking into other options including retaining the controlled vehicles access system but extending the times when motorists can enter the city for free to include early afternoon and Saturdays. At the moment, access to Valletta is free after 6pm, on Saturday afternoon and on Sundays and public holidays.

By next Budget, Dr Muscat said, he hoped to have proposals to reform the CVA system that was operating at a loss and was criticised by residents, shop owners and commuters.

He was speaking during the last in a series of public consultation meetings, themed a Government That Listens. Such meetings with members of Cabinet, he said, would be held every six months.

“I am here to serve you and not here to give orders. I’m here to take responsibility and take decisions. I am a servant of the public until they want me here,” he said.

He said the Government was working on a comprehensive parking strategy for the whole of the island. As for the ongoing controversy regarding the Sliema residents’ parking scheme, he said he personally believed that “this country is too small to have a local council that decides who cannot park”.

Speaking about the public transport system, he said Arriva’s chief executive officer assured him that the company was committed to improving the system. The Government also wanted to review the park and ride system, he said.

“The park and ride today is a cemetery. It is part of Arriva’s contract and I hope to find a solution,” Dr Muscat said.

He said it was unacceptable that the “arrogant” Transport Malta had spent €800,000 in consultancy fees on drawing up the flawed public transport system.

Speaking about the new Parliament building at the entrance to Valletta, he said a decision would soon be taken on its fate to ensure it is used by as many people as possible for as long as possible.

He said the Whistleblower’s Act, that has been in the pipeline for some six years, had been approved by Cabinet.

This morning it would be discussed by the Parliamentary Group and, in the evening, it would be presented for a first reading in Parliament so that, next week, it could be debated. It would come into force by the end of July when Parliament rose for the summer recess, he said.

Answering questions from the public on a range of subjects, he said that by the end of the year he planned to visit Israel, that was never visited by a Maltese Prime Minister before, to establish a relationship with the country. He added that Russia was another country to tap into.

By the next Budget, he would be increasing the student stipends pro rata, that is, according to the cost of living.

On government contracts, he said the plan was to open them up to allow anyone interested to bid without, for example, including restrictive conditions such as minimum years of experience.

The goal was that when the Contracts’ Department issued a call for tenders it also released a model answer to ensure bidders were not disqualified on technicalities.

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