Labour MP Oliver Scicluna accepted a €6,000 per month government job soon after losing his seat in parliament despite having spoken publicly against clientelism and political favours in Malta’s electoral system just a few weeks earlier.
Scicluna failed to make it into parliament last March after contesting two safe Labour districts — the second and fourth — which normally return four out of the five available seats for the PL.
The Shift is informed that one month after his failed election bid, Scicluna was handpicked by Prime Minister Robert Abela to be the new CEO of Agenzija Support, a job that was awarded by direct order.
The three-year contract, seen by The Shift, grants Scicluna a pay package of almost €75,000 a year — or at least €6,000 per month — including eight different allowances that almost double his basic income.
These include allowances for communications, transport, expenses and health insurance, among others.
As the head of the agency that provides services for people with disabilities, Scicluna is also entitled to an additional 15% performance bonus to be assessed and decided each year by the minister.
No public call had been made for the position prior to Scicluna’s appointment. The contract can be extended by another three years on the direct instructions of the minister.
Scicluna came to public attention last January when he took to social media to say how offended he’d been during his short stint in politics to see constituents request favours in exchange for their vote.
“So many individuals come up to me and tell me ‘If you sort me out, I’ll keep you in mind,” he wrote. “It’s a phrase that makes me feel uneasy, because I believe that people should get what is theirs by right, if they are entitled to it.”
“I’m going public because I feel offended when somebody comes up to me asking for help with the idea that they can cash in their vote for a favour. I want the people who vote for me to do so from their heart, because I believe I can do something good, not exchange a vote for a favour.”
A former Commissioner for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CPRD) appointed by disgraced former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat in 2014, Scicluna was coopted to parliament by Abela in January 2021 after the prime minister ordered MTA Chairman Gavin Gulia not to take the seat he won in a casual election in order to make way for Scicluna.
Observers described the move as an attempt by Labour to gain the sympathy of the disabled community and their families.
In another post soon after the election, Scicluna announced that he was quitting politics while highlighting his “relentless work” to ensure Abela and Labour were elected.