Opposition leader Adrian Delia has warned that the stimulus package to aid businesses is beyond inadequate and pales in comparison with the public funds granted to the likes of Electrogas and Steward Healthcare.
Delia noted that the government has set aside €900 million in bank guarantees for the entire business community and that businesses will only be able to benefit from a 20% guarantee when taking out loans.
However, a few years ago, the government had reserved €360 million for Electrogas, the company behind the LNG power station, alone.
“The government is telling our shuttered businesses that they must shoulder the costs for utility bills and salaries but that they can then take a bank loan and the government will make good for 20% of it.”
“However, the government guaranteed €360 million to a single company, Electrogas, so that it can rob us. It gave €360 million to them and €900 million to all companies combined.”
Delia also warned that the additional €35 million committed to the healthcare system to help combat the COVID-19 coronavirus is inadequate.
“This is a once-in-a-generation crisis and yet the government is only committing €35 million to healthcare. However, it is also giving Steward Healthcare €70 million a year to do absolutely nothing. One single company will get more than double than what this supposedly generous government is spending on the entire healthcare system.”
“In the name of the public, we urge the government to increase this budget. Some countries have said they’ll spend all the money they have if that’s what it takes and we require the biggest investment possible in the healthcare sector.”