We usually say, it’s better late than never. In the case of the costings published by PN this morning, the inverse is true. It’s a case of better never than so late.
On page 8 of their 11th hour costings, which were prepared on the 22nd March according to the properties of the document, the PN declare that their plans are based on economic projections which were estimated on the basis of a starting base of 5.9% GDP growth in 2021.
Now a National Statistics Office release made on the 1st March states that GDP growth in 2021 was 9.4%. Therefore, the whole edifice of the PN’s economic projections is based on an incorrect starting value. So, if the PN is not aware of the present economic situation, how can it be expected to make correct projections of the future?
The whole edifice of the PN’s economic projections is based on an incorrect starting value.
Besides this massive mistake, the costings also reveal that all the talk that Opposition Leader Bernard Grech made of building new schools, extending the Mgarr harbour, purchasing two new ferry vessels, day care centres, new hospitals, more infrastructure, and better medical equipment, will amount to spending just €1.9 billion. At the same time, the trackless tram PN promised to finish in five years will cost €2.8 billion, nearly a billion more than the whole capital programme of the PN manifesto.
Does this mean that the project has already been discarded?
In fact, in page 23 of the document PN says that the trackless tram’s financing model will “be determined once the full feasibility studies would have been finalised”. This shows black on white that the PN does not even have a complete feasibility study for the trackless tram. Which shows that the PN does not know whether the trackless tram is feasible and yet he has promised to deliver it within five years.
The PN costings also show that their manifesto costs €6 billion, and project that Government revenue will increase by €2.7 billion. This means that the national debt will increase by more than €3 billion, or by nearly 40% in five years under the PN. This will put Malta once again in the European Commission’s excessive deficit procedure.
Gross economic mistakes, doubts as to whether star projects will be delivered, and indications that government finances will go massively in deficit.
These costings are really a case of better never, than so late.