Rosianne Cutajar targets opposition MPs over public sector jobs

Aqra dan l-artiklu bil-Malti.

Disgraced former Labour Party MP Rosianne Cutajar, ousted from her parliamentary group over several scandals, has filed a flurry of parliamentary questions over opposition Nationalist Party MPs public sector positions.

Just weeks after the latest report by the National Audit Office (NAO), uncovering her “phantom job” as a consultant to Pierre Fenech, the CEO of the Institute of Tourism Studies (ITS), Cutajar asked 34 parliamentary questions in two weeks to opposition MPs about their government jobs.

Cutajar asked Prime Minister Robert Abela and other ministers to supply details about opposition MPs’ recruitment, working conditions, hours of work, days of leave, and sick leave, and whether they had any special employment conditions, such as working from home.

She did not file similar questions to her former colleagues in Labour’s parliamentary group, who also hold full-time jobs within the public sector.

Cutajar insisted that the government should say whether opposition MPs are present for all their working hours and said their timesheets should be presented to parliament.

Ministers have generally ignored most of Cutajar’s requests, providing general replies and not giving in to her demands for private data.

Part of Cutajar’s latest political mission

As Malta’s House of Representatives is a part-time institution, Cutajar also held a full-time job while tending to her parliamentary duties, like most other MPs.

Before Prime Minister Robert Abela made her a parliamentary secretary, Cutajar was given a full-time job as commissioner for the Simplification of Bureaucracy.

With some €50,000 in perks and salary, Cutajar did not even have a physical office, and her job was abolished as soon as she joined the executive.

Before becoming MP, when acting as major of Qormi, Cutajar was also given a job as a communications coordinator at Castille, working closely with then-chief of staff Keith Schembri.

This week, Abela, currently under pressure due to polls showing a significant drop in his popularity, has stated that he is reconsidering his position on Cutajar, indicating that he is mulling her return into his parliamentary group.

In April 2023, Abela publicly stated that Cutajar had no future inside his party.

21 MPs are public officers

Aside from the 27 Labour Party MPs who hold executive positions such as ministers or parliamentary secretaries at an annual expense of some €21 million, there are another 19 MPs, six from the government and 13 from the opposition, who also hold full-time public sector jobs.

The situation changed slightly since Cutajar launched her parliamentary questions as her former colleague MP Glenn Bedingfield, who was also chairman of the Kottonera Foundation, and Omar Farrugia, chairman of Sports Malta, have now been made parliamentary secretaries.

According to unwritten rules, MPs working in the public sector are generally permitted to take ‘special leave’ from their place of work whenever they have political duties to attend to.

These ‘rules’ have been used and abused by many MPs over the past decades from both sides of the house and MPs have rarely been needed to fulfil the requirement of working a 40-hour-week in their public sector role.

In the case of Cutajar, a teacher by profession, the NAO found that apart from her full-time government job as an anti-bureaucracy commissioner, she was given a ‘phantom’ consultancy job at the ITS, pocketing another €24,000 a year.

Pierre and Romina Fenech with Michelle Muscat Muscat.

Pierre Fenech never explained why Cutajar was recruited or why he broke the rules to give her the position.

Instead of sacking him, Abela said he was just “obeying ministerial orders”.

So far, police have yet to take action against Cutajar and Fenech.

                           

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4 Comments
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Godfrey Leone Ganado
Godfrey Leone Ganado
1 month ago

Rosianne Cutajar should have also asked her corrupt government of which she forms part whether it ever initiated action against those PN members she is accusing, and if not why?

saviour mamo
saviour mamo
1 month ago

The Nationalists MPs should take a stand on this. They should boycott their participation in the committees and attend only parliamentary sittings unless this problem is solved. All the MPs whether from government or from opposition should get the same amount of extra remuneration.

makjavel
makjavel
1 month ago

While the government is at it , the list of all government employees and where are these employed should be published.
WE pay their salaries , so WE HAVE THE RIGHT to KNOW.
This would not apply for anybody giving a service in Sicily.

mick
mick
1 month ago

The Speaker is overloaded at the moment allocating premium space at the trough, it looks like a shift rota will be implemented

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