MaltaToday: Leo Brincat in ‘political panic’ – Austin Gatt
NEWS | Sunday, 20 January 2008

Leo Brincat in ‘political panic’ – Austin Gatt

Labour MP Leo Brincat’s protestations over a ‘first come first served’ internet broadband giveaway by the government have been branded as “political panic” by IT and Investments Minister Austin Gatt.
The Ministry for IT and Investments recently launched a €3-per-month internet subscription scheme for households which do not yet have access to broadband. The scheme is however available on a ‘first come first served’ basis.
The shadow foreign and IT minister Leo Brincat is saying the scheme is a “hurried attempt of political opportunism with a purely electoral scope.”
“We won’t be discouraged at Minister Gatt’s twisting of facts,” Brincat said. “We will carry on exposing the government’s political strategy and electoral considerations more so when certain discounted broadband schemes are there for a definite period, are not means-tested and are on a ‘first come first served’ basis, rather than being aimed at those who are really in need.”
Gatt’s ministry has reacted saying that Leo Brincat is “irritated” at the fact that this scheme shall boost the penetration of broadband among Maltese households.
“The government and Minister Austin Gatt do not think they should apologise for public initiatives aimed at letting Maltese families take advantage of the benefits of technology”, a spokesperson said.
“Leo Brincat is wrong. His statement is merely fuelled by political panic. No more no less. Only people without broadband at home are eligible to the scheme… people who can see the point of broadband but do not have the money to pay for it are the ones to pass the eligibility ‘test’… NSO surveys on how many such families there are show that we have budgeted and planned correctly for this scheme. Of course Labour will also have figured that out.”

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