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MT 22 January 2017

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maltatoday, SUNDAY, 22 JANUARY 2017 2 MaltaToday Survey JAMES DEBONO AN appreciable 52% major- ity of people in Gozo have told MaltaToday that they believe that contracts, permits and government jobs on the sister island are more likely to be awarded on the basis of politi- cal favouritism than on merit. And only 20% think that these are more likely to be awarded according to merit, while 51% think that help from politicians is "very important" or "impor- tant" in finding a job. This emerges from a survey carried out by MaltaToday among 600 Gozitan respond- ents between 9 and 13 January. The opinion that contracts, permits and government jobs are awarded on the basis of po- litical favouritism is stronger among the younger 18-to-34 age group, 64% of whom think that this is the case. The survey also indicates that only 22% of respondents think that it has become difficult to find the help of politicians in matters like the award of con- tracts, permits and govern- ment jobs since the election of the Labour government. 25% believe that it has be- come easier to get the assis- tance of politicians in such matters, while 13% believe that everything has remained the same. Younger respondents are more likely to believe that it has become easier to find help of politicians in such matters. The survey, held two years af- ter Anthony Debono, husband of former Gozo minister Gio- vanna Debono, was arraigned in court in Gozo, where he pleaded not guilty to 13 charg- es in connection with works for votes allegations, suggests that political favoritism is not a thing of the past. 81% of switchers think fa- vouritism is rife The survey shows that switchers, respondents who voted PN in 2008 and PL in 2013 are the most likely to be- lieve that contracts, permits and government jobs are not awarded on the basis of merit but through political favourit- ism. Not surprisingly Labour voters are the least likely to be- lieve this is the case. The survey shows that 81% of switchers, 67% of PN voters and 34% of Labour voters hold the view that political favourit- ism is rife in the employment, contracts and permits sectors. On the other hand only 13% of PN voters and switchers believe that contracts, per- mits and government jobs are awarded on the basis of merit. This contrasts with 38% of PL voters who believe that meri- tocracy is being practised. The survey also shows that 81% of switchers believe that the help of politicians is impor- tant in finding a job. The same opinion is expressed by 68% of PN voters. But only 38% of PL voters share this view. Not surprisingly while the majority of PL voters think that political favouritism has de- creased under the PL govern- ment, PN voters express the opposite view. But significantly 23% of PL voters believe that under a Labour government it has become easier to get help from politicians in the award of contracts, permits and govern- ment jobs. On the other hand 20% of PN voters acknowl- edged that it has become more difficult to get help from politi- cians in such matters. Switch- ers are the most likely to be- lieve that nothing has changed. Perception of favouritism stronger among the young Surprisingly the survey shows that younger respondents are more likely to think that fa- vouritism is rife in Gozo. They are also more likely to think that under Labour it has be- come easier to seek the help of politicians in the award of con- tracts permits and jobs. In fact among this category while only 18% think that it has become more difficult to find political assistance in such matters, 33% believe that this has become easier. It is older respondents above 55 years of age who are more likely to think that under Labour, it is more difficult to seek the intercession of politi- cians. And while 64% of under- 35-year-olds believe that pres- ently in Gozo contracts, per- mits and jobs are more likely to be awarded on the basis of po- litical favouritism, only 47% of 35-to-54 year-olds and 52% of over-55s believe this is the case. Younger respondents are also more likely to believe that help from a politician is "very im- portant" in getting a job. While 41% of those aged 18- 34 believe so, only 29% aged 35-54 and 26% of over-55s share the same view. Only 11% of 18-34 year-olds – compared to 19% among 35 to 54 year- olds – think that help from a politician is not important in finding a job. Methodology The survey was held between Monday 9 and Friday 13, 2017. 909 respondents all hailing from Gozo chosen from the on-line directory were con- tacted. The survey was stopped when a 600 quota sample of completed questionnaires was reached. The survey has a mar- gin of error of +/-4 points. In Gozo, you need your political saint All 18-34 35-54 55+ PL PN Switchers Very important 28.9% 41% 29.1% 25.8% 15.6% 41.9% 31.3% Important 22.4% 10.3% 24.4% 23.6% 21.9% 25.6% 50% It helps a little 15.1% 25.6% 11.6% 14.3% 24% 8.1% 6.3% Not important 10.5% 7.7% 11.6% 11% 13.5% 9.3% 0 Not important at all 5.6% 2.6% 7% 5.5% 6.3% 2.3% 0 Don't know 17.5% 12.8% 16.3% 19.8% 18.7% 12.8% 12.4% All 18-34 35-54 55+ PL PN Switchers On the basis of merit 20.4% 12.8% 26.7% 18.7% 37.5% 12.8% 12.5% Because they know a politician 52.6% 64.1% 46.5% 52.7% 34.4% 67.4% 81.3% Depends 4.3% 2.6% 9.3% 2.2% 4.2% 3.5% 0 Don't know 22.7% 20.5% 17.5% 26.4% 23.9% 16.3% 6.2% All 18-34 35-54 55+ PL PN Switchers More difficult 22.4% 17.9% 20.9% 25.3% 30.2% 19.8% 31.2% Easier 25.2% 33.3% 26.7% 18.7% 22.9% 34.7 31.2% The same 13.3% 12.8% 18.6% 11.5% 11.5% 10.5 25% Don't know 39.1% 36% 33.8% 44.5% 35.4% 35 12.5% How important is it to get help from a politician to work in Gozo? Are contracts, permits and government jobs awarded to those who deserve them or because of politicians' help? Post-2013: is it more difficult or easier to find politicians' help in matters like the award of contracts, permits and government jobs? Younger respondents are more likely to think favouritism is rife in Gozo and that under Labour it has become easier to seek the help of politicians for contracts, permits and jobs

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