ADPD – The Green Party has said minimum wages, pensions and benefits do not guarantee a decent life and do not reflect the current rate of inflation.
At a press conference outside Parliament on Saturday morning, ADPD President Carmel Cacopardo said the rising cost of living was being felt by all, despite the subsidies provided.
He said many could not afford to wait another six months to receive the cost of living adjustment (COLA).
“There is absolutely no justification for waiting until the end of the year so that those living on minimum wage, pension or welfare can make essential purchases,” Cacopardo said.
He said the current crisis will be a “protracted crisis”, offering an opportunity to consider whether, over time, subsidies, including those applied to gasoline, diesel and electricity, should be better applied. .
“International prices will remain high for the foreseeable future. While it is imperative that basic household electricity consumption remains subsidized, other subsidies for electricity and fuel use should be better considered,” Cacopardo said.
Cacopardo said there are better ways to reduce the burden people face. He argued that if fuel subsidies were removed, it might translate less to fewer cars on the road, leading to greater use of public transport and better air quality.
“The current crisis therefore becomes an opportunity to reduce our reliance on private vehicles, increase investment in safe roads for clean energy transport methods and more bus lanes,” Cacopardo said, adding that it was the perfect time to implement a rapid transit bus. system with special bus lines.
“This is an opportunity that can lead to substantial environmental benefits that should not be missed,” Cacopardo concluded.
ADPD Vice President Sandra Gauci pointed out that the rising cost of living was hitting hard, despite Malta having one of the lowest inflation rates.
“One-time help is not enough. We need a more robust instrument to support those who are oppressed, the retired, those who live on the poverty line and who increase day by day,” said Gauci.
She said that was why the ADPD was insisting that COLA should not be delayed until the end of the year.
“We would have expected a serious government to increase minimum wages, pensions and social benefits from July 1 to minimize the impact of what we are going through,” Gauci said.
She argued that it was imperative that the minimum wage, as well as pensions and social benefits guarantee a decent life. Gauci added that those dependent on minimum wage, pensions or social benefits need help imminently, not six months from now.
“We are surprised that a government that claims to be inspired by social democratic principles does not take immediate action to ensure that salaries and pensions are sufficient to ensure a decent life,” Gauci said, noting that the government had not mentioned this issue in its social report. vision for the next 15 years.