The Malta Independent 28 June 2022, Tuesday

A second job is now a necessity

Thursday, 19 May 2022, 14:18 Last update: about 2 months ago

Ivan Castillo is a PN MP.

Having a second job is no longer an option, but a necessity. Excessive inflation on the daily needs and the hike in property prices together with low paid salaries are leading to an inferior quality of life being experienced by the Maltese workforce and their dependents.

The fact that our country is considered as a high risk jurisdiction due to this government's actions or inactions, Malta is no longer as attractive as its competitors and serious foreign investors are finding huge stumbling blocks in establishing their companies here. It's a known fact that accounting firms are experiencing an unprecedented number of liquidations of foreign owned Maltese companies.

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Additional problems faced by Maltese companies include the increasingly onerous due diligence requirements and the expense to satisfy these requirements together with the difficulty to open new client accounts with local banks. All these issues are making Malta uncompetitive. Our country is losing golden opportunities in creating new highly paid jobs. During these last nine years we have actually seen no innovative investments which make our youths dream about their future in Malta. My concern is that most of our workforce is being offered low and unsatisfying government or contractor work. That is why around 70% of our youths would rather choose to live and work abroad. How can one accept a difference of almost €19,000 in a salary over four years for the same job in the caring industry? Where is the equal pay for equal work concept? Where are the Unions?

Our policy makers are failing this country. Our policy makers are failing to attract investment. Our policy makers are failing to attract Maltese students to continue with their studies after the age of 16. This is already being felt amongst the existing industry which is finding it hard to find skilled employees. The skill gap is getting even wider.

Let us give our people the opportunity to aim high. Let us give our youths the tools to create and develop new concepts, new ideas. I want to live in a country which encourages youths to choose their careers wisely and not to settle for mediocre jobs with low salaries.

The PN has a positive track record in creating new employment sectors. Financial services, Cruise liner industry, gaming, pharmaceuticals, aircraft maintenance, restoration, transhipment, language schools are to mention just a few.

It is our duty as politicians to nurture such niches and to create the ambience for new ones. Status quo is not an option as our direct competitors will keep investing in their product and their people. Let's all hope that Malta's Labour led government is making a sound judgement of this country's present situation to prepare our workforce to face the near future.

If our unemployment numbers are declining, all well and good. But that is not all. We must thrive for the best. We must invest in local people and not rely on an imported workforce. When it's not affordable for them anymore, they will leave, leaving a vacuum behind.

We must seriously discuss the living wage concept and scrap the existing and outdated COLA system once and for all.

We at the Nationalist Party support the UHM Voice of the Workers Idea of creating a jobs portal which will include the contracts of all workers which will help in reducing discrimination as all contracts will be black on white and easily available to all employees and employers.

It's high time that the government acts on the workers' rights. Let us walk the talk. We are not in election mode anymore and thousands of workers and their families who are on a low to medium salary are feeling the crunch. Let us hope it is not too late when the Government wakes up to tackle the issues ahead.


 

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