The Malta Independent 19 April 2024, Friday
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Falzon, Bartolo agree on unstable economic times, but at odds on condition of welfare state

Andrea Caruana Sunday, 31 March 2024, 08:30 Last update: about 18 days ago

The government and opposition agree that an aging population with a dwindling birth rate is creating economic instability that may impact pensions, but they have differences on the way they perceive the welfare state.

Interviewed by The Malta Independent on Sunday, Minister for Social Policy and Children’s Rights Michael Falzon says that a pension that will continue to rise is guaranteed by the Labour government, but he still recommends a second pension to improve the quality of life in the later years.

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Conversely, Ivan Bartolo, PN spokesman on housing and pensions, does not believe the current welfare state is up to scratch and that more words are being said than concrete action being taken. If the government was saying the truth about the state of Malta’s economy, then there should be no need for a second pension.

The minister and the PN spokesman were contacted after earlier this month Falzon urged people to invest in a second pension as the demographic shift could eventually affect the public pension system.

We need to talk about private pension schemes, he said, adding that this might be interpreted as a defeat and “that we won’t be able to provide for our people in 20 years.”

But, the minister had added at the time, “it’s not a question of putting up the white flag. It’s a question of facing realities which do not go away if your head is in the sand.”

Read interview with Social Policy Minister Michael Falzon here

Read interview with PN spokesman on pensions Ivan Bartolo here

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