Nationalist Party official Jean Pierre Debono said on Tuesday he received a salary of €2,238 from the PN last month, denying rumours that he had a yearly pay package in excess of €50,000.
Mr Debono, who has spent the past days embroiled in an internal party struggle over his role in a co-option vote to fill the parliamentary seat vacated by David Stellini, shared a screenshot of a transfer into his bank account.
The transfer, made on May 31, was for €2,238.97 from the ‘Partit Nazzjonalista’ and was labelled ‘salary’.
A wage calculation which factors in income tax, national insurance contributions and the cost-of-living adjustment suggests that monthly wage translates into a gross yearly salary of €34,000.
“I don’t want people to think I have anything to hide,” Mr Debono wrote on Facebook. “If you do the math, you will realise that my wife [PN MP Kristy Debono] and I raised slightly less in a single fundraising marathon than my yearly salary amounts to in a year”.
“That’s far away from the €50,000, €70,000 or €100,000 bandied about by certain individuals,” he said, adding that others within the party earned similar amounts.
Mr Debono, who previously served as the PN’s assistant general secretary and is currently its political coordinator, said on Monday that he would not be taking his oath of office as an MP.
That withdrawal came on the back of growing controversy over his role in organising the ballot that saw him voted in by the PN’s executive council as Mr Stellini’s replacement in parliament – a ballot he won by just two votes, and which the party’s outgoing executive president said should be declared void and retaken.
Massive party debts
The PN has spent the past years battling intense financial difficulties, with debts rumoured to run into several millions of euro. An email leaked in January revealed that last August, the party leadership was warned that it only had enough funds to carry it to February.
In late 2017, party leader Adrian Delia said he would follow in his predecessor Simon Busuttil’s footsteps and forgo a salary as PN leader. He had earlier told Lovin Malta that he saw no problem with somebody earning a salary for a full-time job.
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