The Malta Independent 15 April 2024, Monday
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Updated: PN slams Malta's 'low and frozen' wages; PL says PN doesn't know how to read statistics

Wednesday, 3 April 2024, 16:52 Last update: about 11 days ago

A Eurostat report that found the wages in Malta and Gozo not only to be the lowest in the European Union, but, even worse, to have stagnated with the median pay level remaining the same for eight years is proof that the government’s economic model has failed, the Nationalist Party said in a statement.   

The PN's interpretation of the report and its statistics was contested by the Labour Party, who said that the PN had completely misread the data.

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This failure has resulted in a high cost of living, with emphasis on essentials such as food and produce, yet stagnant wages, the party said. Consequently, the government created difficulties for thousands of families and increased their risk of poverty, the PN added.

The PN continued that the Labour government still tries to give the impression, with its propaganda costing hundreds of thousands of euros on a daily basis, that Maltese families are “sinjuri żgħar”. On the contrary, the EU report shows that this is not the case, the PN said.

This report is a confirmation that Prime Minister Robert Abela and Minister of Finance Clyde Caruana’s economic model, based on unchecked cheap labour, has failed, PN said. This is all to the detriment of other crucial sectors such as education, health and infrastructure which are failing due to this influx in population, it said. 

The PN said that it will continue to renew its appeal, which has gained support from constituents and stakeholders, that the country must adopt a more sustainable economic model based on quality not quantity. It is only in this way that Malta’s productivity will rise again and create better employment with better wages.

Furthermore, PN questioned why, even with this confirmatory report, government keeps on insisting on its current economic model. The PN questioned if there are other reasons why government stuck to its guns and said that this is why the country needs a new direction.

The statement was signed by PN MPs Jerome Caruana Cilia, Ivan J. Bartolo, and Ivan Castillo.

 

PN showed that they don’t even know how to read a statistic - PL

The Labour Party issued a scathing reaction, saying that the Nationalist Party with their statement proved that they don’t even know how to read a statistic.

The party said that the PN had spun what was a statistic about how much an hour of labour costs an employer into how many a worker earns.  “The PN has forgotten that since it has been out of government, the burdens on employers have decreased and not increased.”

The PL said that the statistic quoted by the PN to state that Malta’s salary is the lowest in Europe is actually a statistic showing how much of an employer’s expense does not go to salaries as it is transferred into taxes or stamp duties, amongst others.  The least of those burdens on the employer in all of Europe is in Malta, the PL said.

‘The lowest shares were recorded for Malta (1.4%), Romania (5%) and Lithuania (5.4%),’ the party quoted from the report.

The PL said that what the PN quoted as being the pay of a worker, is in fact the tax on the employer, which reaches 30%.

The PL said that recent statistics about the income of workers in Malta show that it’s not true that it is amongst the least in the EU; but rather it is the 12th highest in the EU at the same time as the government not introducing any new burdens and increased its help to the people through various schemes.

The PL continued that Eurostat’s own statistics show that even the statement that salaries haven’t increased is a lie, because the Labour Force Survey published at the end of last year shows that since 2016, the median pay has increased by 25%.

This is also confirmed by the European Commission, the PL said, before noting that from this year the minimum wage has also increased and will increase every year, despite the PN boycotting the national agreement.

The PL also noted that the Central Bank’s Business Dialogue report said that 60% of businesses increased their workers’ salaries by more than 5%, and will do so again this year.  At the same time, the party continued, the government continued to improve its in-work benefit, introduce new mechanisms for the cost of living, and other initiatives.

“These are examples which those who are economically incompetent and who rely on newspaper headlines rather than analysing reports would not understand,” the PL said.

“It’s no wonder that so they don’t make mistakes, they don’t do anything, as they did with the pre-budget document,” the PL concluded in a final parting shot.

 

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