Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Randall queries Caruana in continuing wrangle

Opposition spokesman for Transport Lucio Randall has accused Chief Minister Peter Caruana of having a problem in understanding issues of managing Government spending. In the continuing row over motorcycle driving tests, Mr Randall says that Mr Caruana is using “self-serving” and “fabricated” arguments and states that the quarrel is indicative that even a modest decision as repairing a motorcycle is one “that only Mr Caruana can take.”

Mr Randall said:

Mr Caruana told the business community last week that ‘if Government decides not to throw away a motorcycle just because it suffers a breakdown and needs a repair, and instead chooses to repair it rather than buy a new one, this is presented as evidence of shortage of money!’

This is a self-serving argument entirely fabricated by Mr Caruana. If it is indicative of anything, what it suggests is that even a decision on whether a motorcycle in a Government Department, which is broken down, should be replaced or whether it is cheaper to repair it, is a decision that only Mr Caruana can take.

The concerns of the Opposition on this issue were, as we have made clear, that the failure to take a decision at the time either way was depriving citizens, who complained to us of a right to a service. The service in question is to provide facilities to take a motorcycle licence test. One imagines that the relevance of this to the business community is the effect it would have on the demand for and sales of motorcycles, if people are unable to obtain the necessary driving licence.

The failure to provide the service and not whether the Government should replace or repair the motorcycle required, was the policy issue raised by the Opposition. Mr Caruana appears not to be able to tell the difference between his formulation and this policy issue. If so, it is indicative of his problem in understanding issues of managing Government spending.


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