Remarks by Economy Minister Silvio Schembri that sacked foreign workers should go back home to their countries were unacceptable, Nationalist MP Ryan Callus told a press conference on Wednesday.

“Such comments are unacceptable in a modern civilised country. This is a global pandemic and the last thing politicians should be doing is to pit people against each other,” he said.

This confirmed, however, how right the opposition was to criticise the government for basing economic growth on population growth, he said.

Government policy had led many Maltese to take out loans to build apartments for foreigners. Once the foreigners left, who would make up for those loans and lost rental income?

Fresh call for government to safeguard jobs

During the press conference, PN deputy leader Robert Arrigo criticised the government for being reactive rather than proactive in the way it tackled the economic consequences of Covid-19 Coronavirus.

The government, he said, was playing with people’s jobs and livelihoods.
He reiterated PN proposals for the government to pay for workers’ quarantine leave and to pay for 50% of workers’ salaries to avoid layoffs. He reiterated calls for financial aid packages including easy access to liquidity and said businesses should also have reduced utility tariffs and VAT relief.

The government surplus had been created mostly thanks to private industry, and the government should now use that surplus to help the private sector, he said.

The press conference was also addressed by Nationalist MP Hermann Schiavone. 

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