A minister and two Nationalist Party candidates clashed on Tuesday in their interpretation of a PN promise regarding sustainable pensions.

Economy Minister Silvio Schembri fired the first salvo, accusing PN leader Bernard Grech of trying to sneak a tax increase into the PN electoral programme without explaining it.

He was referring to the PN's proposal 12 which states that “for pensions to remain sustainable, the private sector must build a new fund for pensions in the country”.   

PN candidates Ivan Bartolo and Jerome Caruana Cilia dismissed the minister's claims and accused the Labour Party of resorting to spin about the Nationalist Party's election proposals because it does not have any fresh ideas of its own.

The PN candidates explained at a press conference that what the PN programme said was that there would be more people working better jobs, which meant higher government revenue from social security contributions. 

"I was dumbfounded when I heard Labour trying to spin this proposal," Bartolo said.

"If we truly want to keep young people here, this is the type of innovation we need. I am left speechless when Labour criticises such an initiative. What’s wrong with this? So we’re the ones who are negative? We have a manifesto in hand, and you criticise us for spelling mistakes? 

In a press release by Labour later on Tuesday, the party said that with the PN there are always "ifs and buts" and "terms and conditions". 

"With the Labour Party, you know where you stand." 

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