The Malta Independent 3 February 2023, Friday
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They rise and stick

Alfred Sant MEP Thursday, 19 January 2023, 07:55 Last update: about 15 days ago

Prime Minister Robert Abela correctly highlighted how some businesses might be taking advantage of the current inflationary situation to up the prices of their products needlessly, or to increase prices more than is necessary.

It’s clear that not “all” businesses will be doing so; but there is no doubt that some are. They should be penalised for this.

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Another problem could also be worrisome: Some prices must be increased for products which really require a greater outlay for them to be marketed. Still, the increase will not stick for ever in all cases. To the contrary, current prices rises could be temporary, even if this is not apparent to everybody at this stage.

However what will happen when and if product expenses go back to where they were formerly, or almost so? Will the price charged to the consumer for the product go down?

Prices that must only increase, never decrease later even under free market conditions merit effective regulation in the interest of consumers.

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SECRET

First it was Trump, now Biden: both took home secret governmental documents when they were President or Veep and kept them there. Which gave rise to huge scandals.

The Biden administration ended up looking and sounding foolish, since it first scandalised the country with what Trump had done, but then discovered that Biden himself as Vice-President had made the same mistakes as Trump... with the difference that apparently the latter carried secret papers home on an industrial scale.

A problem could be that many of these supposedly important papers contain little that is really weighty. They simply got stamped as secret. The politician in charge would take them home, hoping perhaps to get through them there.Once having done so, they would actually  be so insignificant that he would utterly forget them.

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ALL DEVELOPMENTS?

A friend came to argue about the frequent protests being organised against land development proposals. But should all development be out of bounds? he complained. (To be clear, I do not know whether he has some pending application for a project within an ODZ.)

And he went on: We cannot accept that what there has been up to now by way of construction is all that there should be. How is that possible? Of course there is need for more construction, that should be obvious to all! Consider the number of people who are still without their own house or flat where to live. Don’t we need to build new dwellings for them? True, we need controls to disallow abuses. But neither should we go to the extreme of considering all new building proposals in new areas as a plot against the environment.  

To be honest I hardly knew how to reply. I am one of those people who have gotten sick and tired of the excesses that are rampant in the way by which new construction is allowed to spread into all corners of the islands and of the overall attitude  that “we” couldn’t care less. And I have come to believe that most of the proposals being made for the construction of new apartment blocks or whatever are consciously intended as the commercial rape of the environment.

                       

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