Alliance takes swipe at GSD over manifesto pledges already delivered
The GSLP/Liberals took a swipe at the GSD over its manifesto on Monday, highlighting electoral promises made by the GSD which had already been delivered by the Alliance.
The GSLP/Liberals pointed to a GSD pledge to introduce a points system to sanction traffic offences, something that is already in place.
“This highlights the GSD’s inability to keep up to date with important announcements and developments which is an essential skill required to be a Government Minister,” the Alliance said in a statement.
It also undermined GSD claims the GSLP/Liberals lacked transparency in government, insisting that the GSD “…seems to fail to see things even when published in a Government press release.”
The Alliance also highlighted a GSD pledge to set up a housing counter in the centre of town, countering that such a counter already exists at the ICC and that “the entire Housing Department” has moved there.
The GSD manifesto includes pledges to carry out audits and reviews across all areas of government business, from public finances to housing and healthcare.
“The GSLP Liberals notes that the GSD, a party that claims to be ready for Government and which is consistently emphasising the importance of audits and reviews, has not undertaken the most basic audit of their own manifesto commitments, despite mentioning the words ‘audit and review’ 177 times, raising the question: why have they not conducted such an audit or review themselves?” the Alliance said.
Another example: The GSD said it would publish the parliamentary agenda so that people had advance notice of debates in Parliament and could follow.
“The GSLP Liberals welcome this view by the GSD which absolutely, diametrically opposed to what they used to do when in Government and when Parliament barely met,” the statement said.
“The GSLP Liberals, however, have already introduced this such measure and the Parliamentary Agenda is published ahead of every meeting of Parliament on the Parliament’s website.”
“This was announced by the Chief Minister in a statement to Parliament on 18 January 2023.”
The Alliance said there were further commitments in the GSD manifesto which had already been delivered by the GSLP/Liberal government.
“We shall continue pointing these out in coming days to further highlight the absence of serious due diligence by the GSD in the preparation of its policies, which has been as bad as the work done in the vetting of its candidates,” it said.
The Leader of the GSLP Liberals, Fabian Picardo, added: “The more we look at the GSD’s manifesto the more we can see that they are not ready for Government.”
“We’re ready. They’re reviewing. We’re doing. They’re dithering. We’re acting. They’re auditing.”
Questioned by reporters during a press conference, GSD leader Keith Azopardi said it was obvious that the GSD would have to conduct reviews if they replaced the GSLP/Liberals after three terms in office.
“I'm not even sure how to describe that nonsense, to be honest, because they've had 12 years to be in government,” he said.
“We would come in and of course we're going to review certain things and it's a question of degree.”
“I don't think we're saying we're going to review everything.”
He dismissed the Alliance’s criticism of the GSD manifesto too, describing the ICC housing counter as being “tucked away in an inaccessible office, which is not obviously clear to the public” and accessible only by appointment.
Not only that, the address for the office on the eGov website was still Harbours Walk, its old premises.
“I see that they have read our manifesto, which I'm glad, and they now are going to now engage in a nitpicking process over words in our manifesto and little commitments.”
And he added: “I'm not going to nitpick with the GSLP about this.”
“What we're talking about is having an easily accessible location where you can pay in the middle of town,” he said.
“We say in the Post Office. Very obvious.”
“Everybody knows where it is and it's easy to reach, and the counter is open at specific hours, not open by appointment.”