Watch: Upon election, I will tackle poverty – Fearne

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Chris Fearne’s primary course of action upon being elected as Labour Party (PL) leader would be to tackle poverty.

Fearne is currently a Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health. He is contesting for the PL’s leadership, meaning that he would also become Prime Minister. He was being interviewed by Fr Joe Borg on Newsbook.com.mt.

He explained that the values upon which the PL was founded on over a 100 years ago are still relevant today. He stated that the best thing for the country was to eradicate poverty.

Fearn remarked that he had abandoned his career as a pediatric surgeon to do something that would have an impact at-large. He added that he has spent 40 years building his political career, and that throughout, he spent many years working as a volunteer.  

He mentioned contract workers, saying that everyone should be paid equally for the equal amount of work. He explained that contract workers are among the least paid percentage of the population. This is particularly since they are paid some €5 an hour, or less. These then get a monthly wage of some €800 or €900. This wage may need to maintain a family of two or three people.

He exemplified this by mentioning the health sector. He explained that 2,200 contract workers work as cleaners, carers, security, and as clerks. These workers have been doing their jobs for 11 or 12 years, and Government employees do exactly the same jobs. He said that these people have worked hard to have their basic pay match Government employees’. However, contract workers do not get paid more for overtime, do not get allowances and do not get raises based on collective agreements. He added that he wishes to change this.

Fearne remarked that although the rich are becoming richer, the quality of life of those who may be considered poorer than most is also getting better.