MaltaToday survey | Concern on economy rises in wake of recession

Concern on bread and butter issues like cost of living and electricity bills higher among Labour voters.

james
James Debono
26 June 2012, 12:00am
While concern on electricity bills is at its lowest ebb in the past three years, concern on petrol and gas prices has increased by 6 points since March.
While concern on electricity bills is at its lowest ebb in the past three years, concern on petrol and gas prices has increased by 6 points since March.
In the wake of official statistics confirming that Malta has entered a recession following two consecutive quarters of economic decline, concern on the state of the economy has shot up by 8 points.

But while concern on the general state of the economy is rising, concern on employment is at its lowest ebb in the past three years, with only 11% of respondents considering lack of jobs as one of the two greatest problems the country is facing. This contrasts with other countries in the European Union, where jobs are a major concern.

On the other hand, while concern on electricity bills is at its lowest ebb in the past three years, concern on petrol and gas prices has increased by 6 points since March. While 5.4% mentioned petrol prices as one of their major two concerns, 5.2% mentioned gas prices.

The survey also shows a decline in the number of respondents who consider the cost of living as one of the two major problems faced by the country.             

In the wake of recent immigrant arrivals, concern on immigration has increased by 4 points but this is still much lower than in 2009, when 27% mentioned illegal immigration as one of their two main problems.

Despite recent wrangling in parliament which saw Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici lose his ministry - with the government subsequently winning a confidence vote - concern on instability is 8 points lower than in March. The survey was held before the government lost another motion in parliament forcing the resignation of Richard Cachia Caruana, Malta's Permanent Representative to the EU.

This suggests that instability was more felt in March when the country was in a state of suspended animation after Debono abstained in a confidence vote and the government refrained from passing any major legislation for the next two months. It could also suggest that the electorate is getting accustomed to instability. 

The survey shows that concern on bread and butter issues like the cost of living and electricity bills is higher among Labour's electorate although significantly, concern on petrol and gas prices is highest among undecided voters.

On the other hand, concern on immigration is higher among Nationalist voters than among Labour and undecided voters.

Concern on the environment and the state of the roads is also higher among both Nationalist and undecided voters than among Labour voters.

On the other hand concern on the general state of the economy and on employment is substantially higher among Labour voters than Nationalist or undecided voters. Less than 3% consider corruption as a major concern. Surprisingly, Nationalist voters are more likely to mention corruption as a major concern than other voters.

Concern on health is entirely limited to Labour voters, with very few of the other voters expressing any concern on this issue. Overall, only 2% consider health as one of the major problems facing the country. Education was mentioned as a problem by less than 1%.

Methodology

The survey was conducted between Monday 11 and Thursday 14 June. 500 respondents selected from telephone directories accepted to participate.

The survey has margin of error of /- 4.3 per cent.



james
James Debono is MaltaToday's chief reporter on environment, planning and land use issues, ...