Former Labour Party MP Luciano Busuttil, who was rarely out of the spotlight between 2008 and 2017, kept a seat on the government gravy train after choosing to not contest the 2017 general election because, he said, he was tired of “being treated like a prostitute” for votes.
According to information tabled in parliament on Monday by Foreign Minister Ian Borg, Busuttil had been taken on by his predecessor Carmelo Abela as a person of trust advisor to the foreign ministry six months after the June 2017 general election, which he did not contest.
Answering a parliamentary question tabled by opposition MP Mark Anthony Sammut, Borg informed the House that Busuttil had been taken on by the ministry on 1 December 2017 for a one-year period running until 30 November 2018.
The contract was then renewed for another two years until 12 January 2020, the day after the Labour Party’s leadership election that installed Robert Abela as prime minister and the same day that he entered office and just before the cabinet shuffle that saw Evarist Bartolo succeeding Carmelo Abela at the foreign ministry.
Busuttil, a practicing lawyer, was paid an annual salary of €37,194, which was capped off with a €4,659 annual transport allowance and an €815 mobile phone allowance.
When the second foreign ministry contract elapsed in January 2020, Busuttil was made an umpire at the Department of Social Security’s Office of the Umpire, where people can have their complaints over being denied certain social security benefits heard, between 2020 and 2022.
For those services, Social Policy Minister Michael Falzon replied to a separate parliamentary question, Busuttil was paid far less and earned total honoraria of just under €11,500.
Until recently, Busuttil was also SportMalta chairman board, until he was replaced by university lecturer Andrew Decelis last year. He also appeared on the Office of the Prime Minister’s 2021 list of direct orders, where he received €30,000 for unspecified legal services.
In 2020 Abela also awarded Busuttil, who canvassed for him in his Labour Party leadership contest, a direct order for close to €22,000 for legal service for the Malta Council for Economic and Social Development.
The government gravy train seems to have lot of carriages and a lot of baggage
M ghandomx xeba.Hallelin. U l anzjani jaqghu fin nasba u jixtru stocks tal gvern.Jisselfu l flus minghand in nies biex ikollox sktar x jonfqu u jahlu fuqom infusom.
A typical example that proves that our beloved Country is in deep dung.
Is the Minister of Finance Caruana aware of excessive public funds spending.