Malta
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'Disability benefits scheme crafted by Labour criminals to retain power' - Bernard Grech

PN and Opposition Leader Bernard Grech said that the disability benefits racket was crafted by the "Mafia" within the Labour Party, who are doing their utmost to remain in power.

During an interview on NetFM on Saturday morning, a couple of hours after the Government’s announcement that it set up an independent Board to assess the alleged abuse in the severe disability benefits scheme, Grech said that scandal is growing by the hour and that Prime Minister Robert Abela is facing a “crisis”.

He said that although there could have been those who deserved the benefits, this was a “big fraud” crafted by the Labour Party.

“It was the Labour Party that developed and crafted this system, in order to fraudulently win over people’s votes in the runup to the election,” Grech said.

The PN leader said that people deserve a fair election and that everyone should have the peace of mind that voters and not forced to vote in particular ways in order to keep up with inflation.

“Robert Abela is ready to do anything to remain in power, even granting benefits for votes. This is a Mafia, a clique of criminals that are not ready to go back in Opposition,” Grech said.

He called on the Prime Minister to shoulder the responsibility.

Grech stated that the government has lost control of all the sectors in the country, including healthcare and the rubbish sector.

He emphasised that rubbish collection is, “another basic service in which the government has failed. It failed the Maltese and Gozitans, the tourists and all those that invest in the tourism industry.”

Grech said that his party is focused on the people and their needs, while Abela is only concerned about himself.

PN welcomes Board setup but questions its timing

PN MP and Social Policy Spokesperson David Aguis said that Abela has now admitted that an internal investigation into the disability benefits racket was needed.

“This is a confirmation of the severe shortcomings of Robert Abela and his buddies, and political responsibility should be shouldered,” Agius said.

He said that PN welcomes the news of the setup of the board but questioned why the government waited more than two years to do so.

“If the government knew about the scandal for over two years, why did it have to set up the board now? It is doing so now, as it is in the public eye and not because it genuinely believes in it,” Agius stated.

“PN believes that this board should answer to the Parliament and not the Minister. This board should also propose the necessary changes to the law so that those that truly need benefits, do not end up asking for money.”