MaltaToday Survey | Traffic overtakes migration as top concern

Unease about energy and COLA increase as worry about jobs falls

james
James Debono
11 November 2014, 7:51am
MaltaToday Survey • Major concerns, November 2014 | Create Infographics
Concern about traffic has risen by 16 points since March.

Respondents were asked in a survey to mention to mention the two main problems facing the country.

Although concern on traffic has overtaken that on migration, unease about the latter has also increased by four points.

While in March only 7% mentioned traffic as one of the two main problems facing the country, the percentage has now risen to a comparably staggering 23%.

Moreover 6% and 5% of respondents mentioned roads and public transport respectively.

The survey shows that 30% of respondents mentioned at least one situation related to transport. 

On the other hand the survey shows jobs concern going down sharply from 21% to just 7%.

While concern on the cost of living has gone up slightly over March, 7.2% of respondents expressed unease about the pre-announced Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) of 58 cents. 

In the wake of delays on the new power station, worry about energy issues has also shot up from 3% in March to 7%.

Concern on the environment (mostly on development issues) has gone down by four points. On the other hand for the first time 4% expressed unease about a decline in retail trade.

8% of Labour voters concerned by COLA increase

Labour voters are more likely to be concerned about traffic and immigration but are as likely as PN voters to be worried with the proposed COLA increase of just 58 cents.

This suggests a degree of unease among a segment of Labour voters (8%) on the proposed COLA increase.

Significantly immigration remains the top concern of Labour voters (29%) and switchers who voted PN in 2008 and PL in 2013 (31%). This suggests that the government’s less hawkish discourse on migration in the past months has not quelled PL voters’ anxieties on this issue.

The survey shows that concern on migration has gone up by 19 points since June 2013 following the government’s unfulfilled threat to push migrants back to Libya.  Since than the government has adopted a more humane language, emphasising the integration of migrants in the social fabric. 

But despite a drop in arrivals thanks to the now defunct Mare Nostrum operation, concern on migration, particularly among PL voters, remains very high.

Significantly only 9% of PN voters mentioned immigration as one of their two top concerns. On the other hand PN voters are more likely to be worried about energy and jobs (17%), which top PN voters’ concerns along with traffic.

Concern on energy is highest among switchers, 19% of whom express unease on this issue.

Nationalist voters are also more likely to express concern about the environment.  While only 3% of PL voters and no switchers expressed concern on this issue, 7% of PN voters expressed unease on this issue.

18-34 year olds more concerned with migration

Younger respondents were more likely to express worry about traffic and immigration while older voters were more concerned with jobs and the cost of living.

Older voters aged over 55 years were the least concerned with traffic and immigration but expressed the greatest concern on the cost of living. 

On the other hand the 35- to 54-year-old bracket was the most concerned with the COLA increase and with the employment situation.

Post secondary educated most concerned with immigration

The survey shows a sharp contrast between university graduates and respondents with a post secondary level of education who have not attended university.

While only 11% of university graduates are worried about immigration, concern on this issue rises to 29% among those with a post-secondary education. Notably, concern on immigration among this category is also higher than that among respondents with a secondary and primary education.

Concern on traffic cuts across all educational levels but is highest among those with a post secondary level of education and lowest among those with a primary level, who are generally older in age.

Unease about jobs and the cost of living is higher among those with a secondary and primary level of education and concern on the COLA increase peaks among those with a primary level of education and is lowest among graduates.

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