Watch: It is the Opposition’s duty to scrutinise budget in a holistic manner, Grech says

Opposition leader and Partit Nazzjonalista leader Bernard Grech stressed that the Opposition has a duty towards the public and the Constitution to scrutinise the budget unveiled by the government last Monday in a holistic manner.

Participating in a televised discussion on Sunday hosted by Josianne Camilleri, Grech explained that while some sections of society deemed the Opposition’s reaction to the government’s financial budget as “negative”, it was important to analyse the budget as a whole.

The global pandemic found countries unprepared to deal with the outbreak, Grech explained highlighting that as the government took timely actions to address the repercussions of the pandemic on the country’s economy, it then fell short of presenting a long-term sustainable plan for the future. The Opposition leader maintained that between the first wave and second wave, the government had time to work on medium and long-term plans.

It’s useless giving a person a fish and not giving them the means to fish, Grech explained through the use of metaphors. While giving a fish was good between March and May period, it was now time to give the equipment to the people so that they can fish for themselves.

Grech explained that the government found itself in this unexpected situation and managed to pull through but now is in a period where medium and long-term plans were needed. He argued that the period after the first wave was a time to prepare for the uncertain times ahead, adding that now is the time to prepare for the pandemic’s long-term effects as well as for any possible pandemic in the future. Vision for the future is required, he stressed.

The Opposition leader noted that the he was not reinventing the wheel, underlining that Malta had already looming economic issues on the horizons in 2019 due to the economic model adopted by the government over the recent years.

The PN leader noted that the various stakeholders praised the areas addressed in the budget which concerned their sector, but as a whole the government could have done more in preparation for the future.

Grech is expected to deliver his replica on Monday evening in the House of Representatives.

The PN leader was discussing the government’s 2021 budget with Professor Maria Attard, Graham Bencini, Siġġiewi Local Councillor Francine Farrugia, and presenter Sergio Mallia.

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