“In the first three months of the year, government revenue increased by 23 per cent,” ONE triumphantly announced to its delighted audience. Trumpeting the amazing achievements of its great leader Robert Abela, ONE hailed Labour’s government for making so much money ‒ citizens are so wealthy that they paid €66 million more in income tax, so rich under Labour that social security payments increased by €67 million.

ONE was reporting on a National Statistics Office press release boringly entitled ‘By end of March 2022, government’s consolidated fund reported a deficit of €371.6 million’. The gist of that press release was that, in the first three months alone, the government spent more than a third of a billion euros more than it earned. Of course, you wouldn’t know it if you followed ONE news. You certainly wouldn’t know it if you followed TVM, which didn’t even bother to report the press release at all. Neither did MaltaToday.

There was much more depressing news from the NSO. Malta’s debt stands at €8.5 billion. That’s eight thousand, five hundred million euro. What’s more worrying is that in one year alone, Labour raised the national debt by €1.17 billion. That’s a 16 per cent increase in our debt because we will have to pay it, or, at least, the ones who actually pay their dues. When those incompetent

Nationalists were last in power in 2013, Malta’s debt was €4.87 billion. In eight years, Labour almost doubled Malta’s debt to €8.5 billion.

Malta’s deficit in 2012 was €225.9 million. In 2021, that deficit was €1,200 million – that’s €1.2 billion. Malta’s deficit under the great leader’s first full year in office is more than five times higher than that under Lawrence Gonzi’s last full year.

Yes, but government revenue has also increased, you might argue – just as ONE news did. The problem is we’re now spending far more of our income then we did in 2012. Our deficit in relation to our GDP stood at a staggering eight per cent last year. When that ‘corrupt’ GonziPN was in control, it was only 3.3 per cent.

ONE could take that up as another celebratory headline – Malta best in Europe (with the highest deficit). Malta’s eight per cent deficit is indeed the highest in Europe. The EU average is just 4.7 per cent. And Denmark, really the best in Europe, has a surplus of 2.3 per cent of GDP – and even they had COVID.

Unfortunately for Malta, the European Commission doesn’t get its information from ONE news or TVM. Or MaltaToday. It has now placed Malta in the EU’s ‘high risk’ category for fiscal sustainability. It’s called on Malta to rein in public spending. And that’s bad news for us.

Labour won’t rein in spending on unnecessary exorbitant salaries of ex-ONE ‘journalists’ and ‘camera crew’, now ministers’ spokespersons. It can’t rein in its spending on superfluous projects aimed at rewarding their mega-funders. Those cuts won’t come through recouping millions squandered on Vitals or on the Mozura wind farm. They won’t come through cuts to db’s generous SVPR contract. They won’t come through streamlining private secretariats. It won’t come from sacking Karl Stagno Navarra or curtailing Mario Philip Azzopardi’s uncontrolled spending.

ONE news and TVM both deliberately mislead, providing a biased manipulated narrative, selectively quoting press releases- Kevin Cassar

It certainly won’t come from slashing the size of the cabinet. Or stopping the Speaker from his globe-trotting. Or getting rid of the supernumerary parliamentarians stuffed into a crowded chamber. Or from confiscating Rosianne Cutajar’s, Justyne Caruana’s or Joseph Muscat’s termination payments. In fact, we’re probably paying Edward Zammit Lewis, Carmelo Abela, Deo Debattista, Michael Farrugia, Alex Muscat and Chris Agius hundreds of thousands in termination benefits.

Those cuts will come from essential services which benefit the most vulnerable. They will come where there will be least political fallout. The voiceless in our society will be targeted because they won’t make a fuss. Nobody will notice. They’ll just have to lump it.

The only good thing is that the next election is far off. Otherwise Labour would be inflicting bigger debt burdens on us, as it has in this year’s election month. In March 2022, Labour spent €191 million more than in March 2021. No prizes for guessing where that money went. It went into buying people’s votes – with cheques, and jobs and direct contracts.

The European Commission doesn’t mince words. “The country’s budgetary position has been severely depleted by government spending,” it noted. Of course, ONE news and TVM won’t report that.

They’re too busy burying bad news. Both deliberately mislead, providing a biased manipulated narrative, selectively quoting press releases. Theirs is a coordinated disinformation campaign with the explicit objective of painting Labour in the best light and deceiving the public. Both are funded by us. ONE has millions of euros in debts. Chairman Jason Micallef confirmed ONE’s debts are with the government and not with private entities or banks. Our money is providing the lifeblood for ONE.

TVM is funded by €6 million per year from our taxes, despite being technically bankrupt. Its debts exceeded its assets by €6 million in its most recent published accounts from 2019. Without the €30 million government cash-injection, according to its auditors, RSM, PBS cannot continue as a going concern. Yet,  ONE and TVM continue to dupe the nation, religiously avoiding words like deficit and debt.

So, when ONE tells you we’re the best in Europe, think again. When ONE says the government has earned much more this year, ask how much it’s spent. When you wonder why you haven’t heard the word surplus for a while, it’s because there isn’t one in sight. And if you’re wondering why you never hear the words deficit and debt on ONE and TVM, it’s not because we don’t have any.

Of course, if you’re watching TVM or ONE, you’re probably living in a fictitious universe where government re­venue is soaring, where debt does not exist and where the future is bright. And where anybody pointing out that reality of debt and deficit is negative – and a traitor.

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