The Malta Independent 19 September 2019, Thursday

Higher cost of living causing hardship to families – PD

Monday, 15 July 2019, 09:30 Last update: about 3 months ago

The steep increase in food prices is causing increasing hardship to families and low-income earners, Partit Demokratiku said in a statement.

The NSO reports that food prices rose by 4.07% in 12 months whilst minimum wage increased 1.33% annually in 3 years. According to Eurostat, in 2018 food prices were 12% higher than the EU average.

Last year Benna butter rose from €2.10 to €2.54, large loaves by 24 cents and small loaves by 20 cents. Since 2011 the price of the milk carton rose from 72 cents to 83 cents.

In his Sunday radio ‘sermon’ yesterday, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said that, “people were feeling the benefits of economic growth, and that his government had created and sustained a new middle class.” Numbers don’t lie, Mr Prime Minster. Surrounded by faithful and highly partisan civil servants and armies of persons of trust, with the drone of adulation drowning out the concerns of the man in the street, Joseph Muscat remains out of touch with the realities of the struggles being faced by the more vulnerable who find themselves in an increasing state of precariousness.

“Clearly, government’s policies are not mitigating against the negative effects of rising food prices pushing more people towards the poverty line and lowering quality of life,” stated Hon Dr Godfrey Farrugia. “Moreover, less disposable income is left for people to save wisely, invest in their own and their children’s future and education leading to increasing insecurity.”

“Malta’s internal market size limits potential discounts for importers when compared their larger European counterparts. Effective and sustainable strategies to become less dependent on food imports where possible are imperative”, stated PRO, Marcus Lauri. “Incentivising the agricultural sector to increase local output is crucial.”

MCCAA’s remit is to advise government on such price rises. Government must devise policies next budget- the national minimum wage raised to become a liveable wage and COLA re-adjusted to reflect today’s modern necessities.

 

  • don't miss