He who does not pay taxes cannot preach on pensions - PL

'Labour is country's only choice for sustainable pensions'

The PL had a dig at Adrian Delia's tax arrears. Photo: PN

The PL had a dig at Adrian Delia's tax arrears. Photo: PN

A sustainable pensions system relied on citizens paying their taxes, and a political leader who did not pay his could not really be credible when speaking about decent pensions, the Labour Party said.

The dig at Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia came in a statement the PL issued on Tuesday, one day after the government lost the Opposition's backing in reforming MPs' pensions. 

Dr Delia owes more than €80,000 to the taxman in unpaid dues and arrears, as revealed by the Times of Malta last October.

On Monday evening, the government dropped a proposed law which would have made MPs eligible for a parliamentary pension after serving just one legislature, rather than two.

The government said the proposed law was meant to correct anomalies in pensions for MPs, but, the PN withdrew its support "out of the blue".

Dr Delia said the PN had had a change of heart after hearing what the people had to say, and his priority was the people's pensions. Earlier that day, Partit Demokratiku MP Godfrey Farrugia had presented a parliamentary petition calling on MPs to guarantee living pensions for all citizens before reforming their own. 

In its statement on Tuesday, the PL said that it was the only choice for those who wanted sustainable pensions. 

The previous PN government, the PL said, had repeatedly ignored warning signs that Malta's pensions system was under strain and that the pensionable age had to rise. Instead of doing so, the PL government had managed to increase pensions and strengthen the system without raising the retirement age further, the PL said. 

It was only the Labour government that was credible when it came to pensions. the PL said, adding that those who froze them for 25 years or did not pay taxes could not be credible on the issue.

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