The Malta Independent 22 July 2024, Monday
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TMID Editorial: Wrong direction

Thursday, 8 June 2023, 11:38 Last update: about 2 years ago

More Maltese believe that things are going in the wrong direction in Malta (42%) than believe things are going in the right direction (36%).

This emerged from the latest Eurobarometer survey.

There could be many reasons for this. Some of them could emerge from the barometer itself, others not.

The latest survey does paint a worrying picture for the government. People don’t believe everything is alright. This latest statistic, in terms of the percentage who believe things are going in the wrong direction, is a massive 29% increase when compared to the previous survey.

Clearly something needs to be done. The government needs to take a long and hard look at itself and its policies. This situation cannot be attributed to a single issue, and is likely caused by a number of issues together.

Inflation was a topic tackled in the survey. Regardless of the government’s measures to subsidise energy and fuel, the majority of people are not satisfied with the measures taken so far to tackle the rising cost of living. Only 6% said that they were ‘very satisfied’ with how the government has handled inflation – down by a whopping 35 percentage points when compared to the last Eurobarometer survey which was held between October and November 2022. 28% said that they are ‘fairly satisfied’ meaning that the total percentage of the population – as per this survey – satisfied with the government’s work in this sector is 34%. Meanwhile, 31% said that they are ‘not very satisfied’ – an increase of 15 percentage points when compared to six months prior – and 33% said that they are ‘not at all satisfied’ – an increase of 20 percentage points when compared to the six months prior.

Tied to this, the majority, 62%, believe that their standard of living has already been reduced and expect this to still be the case over the next year. This saw a slight 3 percentage point drop over the previous survey, but still shows just how much people are concerned. Those who say their standard of living has not reduced yet, but believe it will over the next year is 21% (which is 9 percentage points less than the previous survey).

This shows that people want the government to do more to tackle the rising cost of living, as this is a serious problem that is on peoples’ minds.

When it comes to living conditions, only 12% believe it will be better than it is today in a year’s time. 38% believe it will be worse. In addition 47% believe the economy will be worse in a year’s time while 18% believe it will be better. For both these statistics, the percentage who believe they will be the same is on the rise.

Negative swings are clear elsewhere: the survey showed that just under half of Malta is not happy with the way in which democracy is working in Malta as well. The results show that there is an even split (49% and 49%) between those who are satisfied with how the country’s democracy is working, and those who are not satisfied with how the country’s democracy is working.

The government needs to take a long and hard look at itself and its policies. Then there are other local issues, such as the massive blow the government took in terms of how it used public funds in the hospitals deal. In addition, the continued uglification of Malta’s environment thanks to overdevelopment remains, an issue that could only be tackled should the government decide to change planning policies.

 

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