Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and Economy Minister Chris Cardona were met with queues of investors during a trip to India earlier this week.
As a result, Dr Cardona had to stay in India for “a couple days more” to meet with all those interested in bringing their business to Malta, Dr Muscat said on Sunday.
Addressing supporters at a Labour Party event at the Zurrieq club, Dr Muscat said that not only has people’s mindset changed but also the way that government handles such investments.
10 Year Challenge
Referring to the 10 Year Challenge making the rounds on social media – a challenge that involves people uploading their photos from today and those from ten years ago – Dr Muscat that he would be taking such a challenge and looking at Malta’s achievements today and those from ten years ago.
A decade ago, people would only speak about trying to find work, often not bothering about the quality of the job, Dr Muscat said, while today, most people were able to pick and choose the jobs they wanted.
“People would have to beg for some work and now, instead, you need to set up an appointment to even meet up with a painter. We have the lowest unemployment rates in our country’s history. Today, we have people looking for “a good job” and that is the difference,” the Prime Minister said.
This, Dr Muscat went on, was the result of change brought about by the Labour government.
On the impact of a strong economy, Dr Muscat said that such results could be witnessed first-hand when meeting families.
“Today, compared to 10 years ago, we have fixed prices for school uniforms. You might tell me, that’s no big deal. But ask families in August and they will tell you what an expense this is,” Dr Muscat said, adding that this was also the case with childcare and transport, which were now both being offered for free to everyone.
On poverty, Dr Muscat said that the number of people in poverty had been slashed by half, with pensions always on the rise.
“We were often told that poverty is a perception but this is not true. Even today there are poor people and we say this knowing that is still more that needs to be done,” he went on.
On public transport, Dr Muscat said that while ten years ago, the country was forced to deal with chaos as a result of decisions by the previous administration, now people were enjoying a good service, which, even if not always perfect, was an improvement.
The prime minister also said that while a number of people – namely students and the elderly – were benefiting from free transport and reduced rates, the government’s vision was to have free transport for everyone in the coming years.
“We want to reach a point where everyone using public transport does not pay. This is where we want to get to and we will reach this target in the coming years,” Dr Muscat went on.
He also added that while in the past, the word ‘surplus’ was rarely used, now this was something everyone spoke about. Instead, he said, people had become accustomed to the term ‘deficit’.
We want to raise a generation that does not even know the meaning of word “deficit'
“We want to raise a generation that does not even know the meaning of word “deficit”. And we did all this without ever increasing people’s taxes.”
On health, the prime minister said that the issue with out of stock medicine has also been addressed, so much so that now we are at a point where even if a single pill is not available, this makes the headlines.
Similar progress was also made with civil liberties, Dr Muscat added, saying that in the past, people would not even dare speak about divorce and not only was this introduced but the government made sure that anyone could marry whomever they wanted.
“This government does not interfere in the private lives of citizens,” he argued.
On things that have remained the same, Dr Muscat said that sadly this was the case with the participation of women in parliament, something that the government was actively trying to change.
He also said that there were no changes with the Nationalist Party, which had remained split and rife with internal conflicts.
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