The Malta Independent 4 December 2020, Friday

Church recommends adoption of Better Life index

Friday, 20 November 2020, 14:52 Last update: about 13 days ago

The Church has called for the adoption of a Better Life index, saying that tomorrow’s economy should not only be measured through economic growth, but also through quality of life.

During a press conference held at the Archbishop’s Curia, a report highlighting several recommendations was presented.

The Curia said that this report is to serve as a catalyst for discussion, and calls for action and cooperation amongst various entities to work together towards the common good of society. This is to be considered a living document, and also acts as a motivation to stimulate further research in the field of socio-economic development.

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The OECD Better Life Index, which is used as an index to measure quality of life, was chosen as the foundation of this report. Six dimensions were identified from this index which best reflect the local context: income, housing, education and skills, jobs, health and lifestyle, and environmental quality. The report is not intended to seek solutions for each specific dimension, but provides recommendations on a holistic level.

These recommendations include: The development of an open data platform or dashboard, an agreement on a national well-being framework, the integration of well-being in policy making, the revisiting of the COLA mechanism, and the commencement of discussions on a social pact

During the presentation of this initiative, Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Galea-Curmi expressed his satisfaction that the Church in Malta has taken this initiative to bring Church entities closer to other entities in the business sphere.

He explained that the Church values the person as a whole, and always promotes the holistic development of each person and of society. He reiterated that the Church gives particular attention to the weak and that a society’s strength is gauged by the progress of its weakest members.

Daniel Darmanin, President of the Justice and Peace Commission, said that the Church has always emphasised the moral element of the economy and its effects on society. “When global wealth is not being spread equitably, the gap between rich and poor is widening, and the environment is being sacrificed for financial growth, we need to stop and think about the effect this is having on our lives”. He explained that this is precisely why the Church in Malta is calling for a more balanced and human-centred economy.

The initiative was inspired by the international event “The Economy of Francesco” which is currently being held in Assisi in collaboration with the local branches of the Focolare Movement and the Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice Foundation, together with EY and Seed Consultancy, and the support of APS Bank.

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