Thursday, 17 January 2019 Sydney

White confirms will scrap wages cap, wreck budget::

After months of trying to dodge the issue, the Leader of the Opposition Ms White has finally come clean on public sector wages – revealing to the Australian newspaper today that she will “scrap” the two percent wages cap.*

Now, she must outline exactly how much of a pay-rise she intends to give Tasmania’s public servants, noting that every one percent increase is an additional $25 million per year.

This could only mean cuts to health, cuts to education, and cuts to police numbers.

A large number of public sector wage agreements expire next financial year, meaning this is more than just a moot point – the budget after the election will be materially affected almost immediately by Government wage decisions.

It’s simply not good enough that Ms White says she will give the unions a blank cheque on wages policy without outlining exactly what that is.

Ms White must also respond to reported comments in the same article that she would “not rule out governing in minority” – something she has previously ruled out.

I also note Labor’s continual attacks on us over gaming policy and political donations and ask – how much exactly are the union movement bankrolling Ms White’s campaign in return for a blank cheque on wages policy?

*The Australian, 15/1/18



European Union – (


Nearly 2.2 Million Travellers Arrived In Malta Between January And November 2017

Inbound tourist trips from January to November 2017 reached 2,164,616, an increase of 15.7 per cent over the same period in 2016. Total nights spent by inbound tourists went up by 10.0 per cent, surpassing 15.7 million nights.

Total inbound visitors for November were estimated at 167,101, an increase of 17.1 per cent when compared to the corresponding month in 2016.

A total of 139,230 inbound tourist trips were carried out for holiday purposes, while a further 15,297 were undertaken for business purposes.

Inbound tourists from EU Member States went up by 14.7 per cent to 140,825 when compared to the corresponding month in 2016. Most inbound tourists were aged between 45 and 64 (38.3 per cent), followed by those within the 25-44 age bracket (36.5 per cent). During November 2017, first-time tourists increased by 27.4 per cent, while repeat tourists declined by 7.2 per cent when compared to the same month in 2016.

Total nights spent went up by 7.1 per cent when compared to November 2016, surpassing 1.0 million nights. The largest share of guest nights (66.9 per cent) was spent in collective accommodation establishments. Tourist nights in private accommodation decreased by 2.0 per cent when compared to November 2016.

Total tourist expenditure was estimated at €120.3 million, an increase of 18.3 per cent over the corresponding month in 2016.

Total tourism expenditure reached almost €1.9 billion, 13.5 per cent higher than that recorded for 2016. Total expenditure per capita stood at €864, a decrease of 1.8 per cent when compared to 2016.