Prime Minister Robert Abela silent on promise to revise government CEO packages

Prime Minister Robert Abela has so far reneged on his pre-electoral promise to ‘revise’ the exorbitant financial packages being paid to a select few party loyalists appointed to head various government agencies and entities, even as his finance minister talks about the need for “austerity”.

When The Shift revealed in January that Health Minister Chris Fearne’s chief canvasser, Carmen Ciantar, was given a €163,000 package on taxpayers’ backs,  Abela had washed his hands of the responsibility by saying the contract was agreed prior to his appointment. But he had promised to reduce her package, as well as those of others, when up for revision.

Since all politically-appointed CEOs had to submit their resignation following the appointment of a new administration after the last general elections, The Shift asked the prime minister whether he intends to implement his promise. No reply was received.

Yet government sources told The Shift that “so far no real decisions have been taken as the prime minister is facing resistance against any cuts”.

The Shift has been reporting consistently on how handpicked appointees, mostly either friends or canvassers of ministers or Labour Party activists, have been put on salaries that are more than twice or even three times that of their political masters.

Carmen Ciantar’s salary of over €13,000 a month is three times’ a minister’s salary.

Others, already employed in comfortable government positions, are appointed to directorships and advisory positions with other government entities to increase their take-home packages.

Another case involves Principal Permanent Secretary Mario Cutajar who, apart from the generous package he receives as the top civil servant, is also being paid an extra €20,000 a year as director at Heritage Malta.

The contract for Kurt Farrugia, former spokesman of disgraced former prime minister Joseph Muscat, should also come under scrutiny. He was put on a €180,000 package as CEO at Malta Enterprise, a few months before Muscat’s forced resignation, despite having no experience or qualifications to lead the industry.

During the last electoral campaign, Farrugia spent most of his time at the PL headquarters, even appearing in photos with the party’s communications team.

Other CEOs close to Labour ministers have been put on similar pay packages while taxpayers are now being warned of austerity due to bulging debt and deficit levels.

These include former prisons CEO Alex Dalli (€103,000), Central Bank Governor Edward Scicluna (€120,000) who also receives two pension payments from the European Parliament and as a former minister, Edwina Licari (€100,000) who despite her transgressions with former MFSA CEO Joseph Cuschieri was retained in her post.

                           
                               
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Mick
Mick
7 days ago

Don’t hold your breath, they failed miserably the last 10 years to attract private employers onto the Island and thought that the toxic passport scam would last forever. He won’t go after these leeches as he needs consigliere’s to manage the massive lying programme he’s about to embark upon blaming the whole world for the gross incompetence, corruption, and ineptitude that has brought this dystopian country to its knees. But this is Mafialand and no one gives a fuck!

Charles P
Charles P
7 days ago

Ċapċpilhom, ĠAĦAN!

Godfrey Leone Ganado

It is very simple to identify who to sack – start with the 1000+ persons, employed (not given a job) in the pre-election scheme ‘jobs for votes’.

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