PM reduces Cabinet wages and reshuffles
Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi carried out a Cabinet reshuffle yesterday and announced a cut in salary for Cabinet Ministers.
The prime minister announced that he would be reversing the May 2008 decision to pay ministers a higher, €26,000 parliamentary honorarium over and above their salaries. The move was unpopular at the time and has been reversed in the face of tougher economic conditions regionally.
The prime minister also split the Home and Justice ministry into two with the following ministers being appointed in to new roles:
Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici, Minister of Home Affairs (including local councils) and Leader of the House
Chris Said, Minister of Justice and Social Policy
Dolores Cristina, Minister for Education
Mario De Marco, Minister for Tourism, Environment and Culture
Jason Azzopardi, Minister for Small Business, Lands, Consumers and Competition.
Opposition Malta Labour Party (PL) leader Joseph Muscat has called for a vote of no-confidence in the government next week. This is likely to happen because one government backbencher, Franco Debono, has criticised the prime minister and said that he would not accept his undemocratic behaviour.
The Nationalist Party (PN) won the 2008 general election by 35 seats to Labour’s 34 seats, making Debono’s stance especially dangerous for the government.