Things i’d Change in Malta If I were Prime Minister

Just imagine being Prime Minister.

How would you do things differently, from the current party in power?

More importantly, which policies would you change (or introduce) to better the lives of everyone living in your country?

So, apart from developing an interest in architecture and history, these days I’m becoming quite interested in politics 🤓

Mainly UK politics (which has become like reality TV). But, stuck in a traffic jam the other day, I let rip on all the things I’d change in Malta (if I could).

My partner quipped back, “Okay, Prime Minister Dionne!”

which gave me an idea💡

Today, let’s assume I’ve been sworn into the highest office and am now Prime Minister for Malta. (the UK needs a complete overhaul, and none of us has time for such a long list).

From traffic measures, construction, fairer wages for all and conservation of the Maltese culture, here are a few(ish) things I’d change with immediate effect in Malta if I were Prime Minister.

Rush Hour Traffic 

Kicking off with Malta’s number one gripe. Traffic! The roads during rush hour become chock-a-block as 400,000 plus cars take to the island’s narrow streets for their daily commute. 

With immediate effect – bus lanes will operate strictly in force from 7am to 10am and again from 4pm to 7pm in hotspot traffic areas. For instance, from Bahar Ic-Caghaq to Ballutta Bay (routes are for buses only) 

Buses for the busiest routes will run every 15 minutes during these hours. To incentivise people to leave their cars behind and take public transport to work. Think routes passing: Buggiba to Valletta and Buggiba to Sliema. 

School Catchment Area

I’m now also introducing catchment areas for all public (state schools) to reduce parents driving all over the island to ferry their kids’ miles away to schools outside their catchment areas (let’s assume all schools measure up academically) 

Oh, and the school day now starts from 8:45 to 3:15. 

Pedestrianised Areas

More areas near schools will become completely pedestrianised to promote walking. Childhood obesity is of concern. Therefore we require healthier habits and a drive to commit to this – I am fixing more pavements to make walking more feasible.

Traffic Calming Measures 

There has been an uptick in road traffic accidents and, sadly… death. Even though it takes less than an hour to get from one side of the island, speeding is a bad habit on the island. Some days I watch drivers rev their engines (5-10 meters) only to slam down on their brakes a second later. 

More traffic calming measures in hotspots will be introduced immediately.

Rent/Fair Rental Scheme

*sighs* new regulations immediately, beginning with an: Independent Fair Rent Scheme to help safeguard reasonable rent increases. The proposed rent would be determined by a third-party adjudicator: factors such as locality, size and standard of property, inflation rates and test of income will be considered. If the rent is deemed reasonable. All good. If not, the adjudicator will now propose a rate (outlining factors above) detailing reasons along the lines of: 

“For the property’s size, area and state, don’t be a greedy so-and-so (but in polite British-passive aggressive etiquette). The proposed rent of X amount has been deemed unreasonable, however, following our evaluation of property [insert address here], we have determined a fair rent of X amount”

Each rent referral lasts for one year. 

Abandoned Traditional Homes Scheme

‘Gee, let me visit Malta to see its samey-samey buildings that look like everywhere else”, said no tourist. Ever. 

Similar to schemes in parts of Northern Italy, where the government want to stave off depopulation in certain areas. I want to preserve the old traditional houses, help younger people get a foot in the door (preferably their own front door) and reduce the absolute eyesores that are running amok on the island. There are many empty traditional homes which appear to have been abandoned and left in a state of disrepair. Particularly in areas such as Msida and Gozo. So, these can now be purchased from the government for €1.

This is on the following conditions:

  • commitment to refurbishment and restoration of the home to its former glory within the next five years. [Plans and proposals must be shown with the application]
  • No alterations nor adaptions permissions will be granted. Ever. So, these properties can’t be knocked down and rebuilt into a block of unsightly flats
  • This scheme is available to people aged 25-45 earning up to 40,000 EUR a year.

The scheme will be rolled out to Maltese nationals and residents living and working (so contributing to the Maltese economy) for a minimum of five years.

Oh, and these homes can only ever be sold to a Maltese national or another resident (subject to living and working continuously for at least five years and meeting the above criteria).

Planning Department 

On a small island, I imagine it must be harder to decline a planning application from your mum’s best friends, cousin’s neighbour. So, to make this decision easier, once applications have been approved, they will now be reassessed by an independent (an anonymous adjudicator). All evidence will be reviewed with details of a final decision. 

Harsher Sentences for Law Enforcers Breaking the law.

Police Officers, Army officials or people in a position of trust who commit grievous race crimes will automatically have five years (10 in cases resulting in death) on any sentence. Therefore will be remanded into prison, until they have their day in court. RIP Lassana Cisse. Additionally, in cases of death and disability: Compensation of €10 million per year (by the government) will be paid to the victims family. Payments will continue up to (what would have been) the victims 90th birthday.

In all other cases, compensation of €25 million will be paid to the victim.

Inclusive Tourism 

Reduce the Tourist Visa-Fee for Third nationals. Why penalise people who are, in the words of British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak: “financially (un)fortunate? Actually, on second thoughts…

Let’s set a global benchmark and scrap the visa fee (everything else still applies). Besides, I’m sure we’ll make it back in tourism by being more inclusive.

Dog Poop Fines

Malta is a country of dog lovers, and there are almost as many people with dogs as there are cars. (maybe more). Problem is, many people are irresponsible and do not clean up after their dogs. Not only is it disgusting and unsightly, dog faeces can be a serious public health risk (dog -poop can cause diseases such as Hedra). Hefty fines will now be issued for people who don’t clean up after their dogs. Cameras will be installed in high dog-poop areas. For repeat offenders, dogs owners risk having their pets taken away.

Environmental/Air Quality

On-the-spot fines, licence points (and possible jail time for repeat offenders) will be given to those people with cars that billow out plumes of black smoke. I don’t need to tell you that this contributes to poor air quality and creates cancer-causing chemicals. PLUS contributes to ecological issues in the world at large. 

Tougher Penalties for Businesses 

As mentioned above, excessive fines for businesses that falsify MOT tests and possible closure of business. Seems harsh? But what about the death sentence effectively given to thousands of people each year? 

Community Service

Introduce community service for petty criminals, starting with street cleaning, rubbish collection, dog-poop duty etc. Cases not heard in court within two years (small-time crimes) for youth offenders/first-time offenders will be automatically dropped. (However, the numbers will be monitored to ensure this isn’t abused with possible loss of jobs/harsher jail sentences).

Fair Wages

Minimum hourly rate for *everyone* on the island working on the Maltese Islands. There have been horror stories of third-nationals exploitation by unethical (and greedy) businesses. This applies to employees employed on a self-employed/contract basis. Think Bolt Drivers, Construction workers


Introduce street cleaning and road sweepers on an island-wide scale. Read reviews on cleanliness on travel forums – and you’ll understand why. 

Commercial Planning/Foreign Developers 

No more commercial building applications will be approved for the next two years. Until health and safety, well-being and recruitment of enforcement officers (enough to cover demand) have been met. 

Construction Industry 

Complete overhaul of the construction industry and health safety measures. At the very least, all site employees must wear protective clothing. More enforcement checks stepped up, with significant fines and possible foreclosure (what a word) for irresponsible developers). The site must be adequately secured to prevent accidents/ disruption to everyday life and well-being (like people breathing in dust etc.)

The Future of Comino

There will be an independent-run island-wide referendum in a month to decide whether to: 

  • 1.) build a new Comino Hotel
  • 2.) approve the planning permission to allow 19 residential homes to be built in Comino.
  • 3.) Whether to allow foreigners to purchase (or sell to foreigners*)

*Foreigners, in this instance, people living and working on the Maltese Islands for less than five years.

I’ve learnt lessons from the Brexit malarkey. So, we’ll need an 80% YES! to proceed with the above.

Can you tell I’m having way too much fun with this? 🤣 (I’m also back in the UK, so pretty safe!)

Would you like to be Prime Minister or vote for my changes? 

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