The benefits fraud scandal is the epitome of the Labour Party operating with its self-propagating logic to stay in power at all costs, operating under the presumption that it is free of all legal and ethical consequences.
By word of mouth, acolytes, government officials and allegedly even sitting MPs participated in a sophisticated scheme designed to illegitimately buy votes by siphoning millions from taxpayer money. Hundreds were abetted to falsely declare a serious disability to receive a public allowance.
At the time of writing, 160 people may have defrauded taxpayers.
But the case is estimated to include 800 fraudulent beneficiaries since 2020. Each one of these needed a fraudulent medical and other forged documents, the ultimate approval of the medical board and the well-founded belief that they would get away with it.
For this to happen on such a scale, the institutions responsible had to have crumbled under the pressure of politically sanctioned fraud.
It is but another example of the total systemic hijack of our institutions, the same institutions Robert Abela would like us to so blindly trust.
Those who were duped into a criminal scheme play a banal role but their testimony revealed where the more serious responsibility lies. They claimed that the Labour officials who facilitated or even encouraged their participation in the fraud told them not to worry.
What’s a few hundred euros a month when the Labour government drains away so many of our millions to corruption a year? What’s a little fraud here and there when billions were ready to be lost to the hospitals’ fraud alone?
Meanwhile, the big fish swim free. Abela has no incentive to seek justice if it loosens his party’s grip on the very institutions on whose blind obedience he relies.
To stay in power, Labour is resorting to buying votes at the expense of the nation’s priorities. It has lost all its moral authority, which it weakly tries to salvage by pointing to “scandals” older than some MPs while multi-million corrupt deals remain unanswered for by this administration.
We want to know who will take responsibility for the millions of hard-earned taxpayer money lost to this flagrant crime, those who had the gall to carry it out.
The Sunday Times of Malta reported that, since 2019, the scheme took a life of its own amid Labour circles. Yet, it is only recently that the prosecutions quietly began against those who were led to submit forged documents. Castille tried to keep everything under wraps and no political responsibility has been shouldered for a scandal that is completely dissociable from the Labour Party.
Corruption is a poison. By Joseph Muscat’s own admission, those who do not actively seek out to eradicate it contribute to its entrenchment and promulgation. Abela, who agreed not to rock the boat in 2019, has been a proverbial chocolate teapot when it comes to fighting corruption.
The institutions that Muscat helped to dismantle and submit to his political will are now being used as a substitute for political responsibility, to ensure that impunity remains the order of the day.
Robert Abela has proven that he has no intention of addressing corruption- David Casa
By enticing their supporters’ backing through alleged crime, Labour runners of this scheme have only succeeded in staining the criminal conduct of those beguiled by Labour’s record of impunity. That is Labour’s legacy. In so doing, those who peddled crime cost us millions of euros in an attempt to illegitimately influence a democratic election.
The facts of the case are despicable. But Abela is content that Silvio Grixti being made to quietly resign is justice enough for the orchestration of an elaborate criminal racket that defrauded the country in exchange for the political power to rule it.
Malta will never obtain justice for this widespread criminal conspiracy while the perpetrators and their supporters remain in power.
In 2021, the public inquiry into the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia found the Muscat administration responsible for generating a climate of impunity that enabled Daphne’s assassination to be carried out by emboldened criminals.
That same impunity was afforded for serious crimes implicating officials; crimes like corruption, money laundering, obstruction of justice and misappropriation of public funds.
Nothing was learnt since that damning indictment was delivered. Abela has proven that he has no intention of addressing corruption.
That the police go after those who defrauded the State is not an achievement. It is the bare minimum.
That it was done so quietly raises questions about what is being hidden and who is being protected.
Abela and his stooges can call me a traitor from his yacht and from the red carpets on which he is squandering our finances. The truth of the matter is that nothing is sacred for this cabal of scoundrels.
They were ready to make money off patients in our hospitals by selling them to fraudsters. Now, with brazen arrogance, they were caught using money meant to support those whose lives are impacted by disabilities for their own self-interested political goals.
Nothing they do will dent our resolve to stand up to crooks whose place could not be further away from Castille.
David Casa is a Nationalist MEP.