The PN manifesto on the face of it looks generous. But if one reads it more than once, a worrying narrative starts to emerge. Most of its proposals come with terms and conditions.
In fact, if one follows that suggestion of Bernard Grech and searches through the PN manifesto,
- the word ‘iżda‘ – but – appears 87 times.
- The word ‘kriterji‘ – criteria – appears 49 times,
- ‘konformi‘ – in conformance with – appears 41 times.
- ‘suġġett‘ – subject to -, ‘jekk‘ – if -, ‘fil-każ‘ – in case -, and ‘sakemm‘ – until/unless – are used 60 times.
Just to give a practical example, there are at least 32 proposals (one in fifteen of all PN proposals) that explicitly state that to beneft from a tax cut or funds from a scheme requires that a firm is ESG compliant. Even the famous one billion fund promise includes this proviso. Only firms that are ESG certified would be eligible. Now, imagine how easy it will be for a small 3D printing firm to be complaint with non-financial reporting, so as to gain access to these funds. Most new firms find it hard enough to fill in all the financial forms required by a bank to issue a loan; imagine to have to include non-financial reporting on top of that.
At least these voluntary organisations are not being forced to become ESG-certified. This is what nurseries will have to do to get some benefits from the PN.
These are just a few examples of PN proposals with terms and conditions. With the PN there are no guarantees except of having to work hard with no guarantee of getting aything in return.