Updated – Malta News Briefing – Thursday 6th April 2023

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Malta joins US, UK in walking out of UN meeting during Russian commissioner address

Diplomats from Malta, the United States, Britain and Albania and Malta walked out of an informal U.N. Security Council meeting
when the Russian commissioner for children’s rights, Maria Lvova-Belova, started to address the meeting by video link. The Commissioner is being sought for war crimes for deporting children from Ukraine. She told the meeting that the children were taken for their safety and Moscow is coordinating with international organizations to return them to their families. (The Malta Independent)

Massive fraud benefit revealed

Seventeen people were charged in court over an alleged benefits fraud racket in which they all claimed to be suffering from epilepsy even if they held a driving licence. While a number of these persons have already been convicted, others are awaiting judgment. According to reports, suspicions were raised when officials in the department of social security were vetting medical certificates submitted by a number of applicants who claimed benefits for severe disability. They were all signed by the same consultant, though the latter denied that the stamp used was actually his. (Times of Malta)

MEP candidate warns of aviation tax impact on Malta

A new tax that is being proposed by the EU on aviation fuel will affect the prices of up to 90% of Maltese exports. Thus, islands like Malta need a systemic and permanent safeguard for the Green deal to succeed. Peter Agius, a candidate for next year’s EP elections, said that the new EU rules that are currently being discussed in the Council of Ministers in Brussels would, if adopted, impose excise duties on aviation fuel impacting up to 90% of exports of goods from Malta and up to 85% of imports. (Newsbook)

Morning Briefing

Government springs to hunters’ defence on Spring hunting

The government has filed a reply to a prohibitory injunction filed in Court by BirdLife Malta, arguing that the Courts ought to reject BirdLife’s request to stop the spring hunting season from opening. The prohibitory injunction was requested by the NGO in an attempt to prevent government from issuing the legal notice that would effectively open the spring hunting season for the vulnerable turtle-dove. (Newsbook)

Carers grant, in-work benefit payments scheduled scheduled for Saturday

The Government has announced an increase in the Carers Grant which from €300 in 2021 has risen to €4,510 per year. The families who will benefit from this grant will receive a quarterly payment of just over €1,000, with the first one being on Saturday. In a news conference Minister Michael Falzon said that with the measures announced in the budget for this year, social expenditure in the last 10 years has increased by 55%. He claimed that in addition to the carers grant, another payment – the in-work benefit – will be sent from Saturday. (TVM)

Labour is no longer the workers’ party, PN claims
PN MP Claudette Buttigieg said that nowadays, nobody believes that the Labour Party is the worker’s party, as Prime Minister Robert Abela and his circle do not know the public’s realities. In a press conference, Buttigieg and the PN’s Secretary General Michael Piccinino said that Abela cannot be strong and stop those who are ‘pigging out’ as he himself has pigged out by making €17,000 monthly while he was still a lawyer for the Planning Authority, claiming he also worked nights and weekends. (The Malta Independent)

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