MaltaToday Survey | Personal finances take a hammering in COVID-19 year

Only 16.8% said their personal finances were better off in 2020, while 50% saw no difference in their kitty

A third of people saw their personal financial situation worsen this year, while half experienced no difference, a MaltaToday survey found.

In a year characterised by problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, 33.2% said their personal finances took a turn for the worse when compared to last year.

Only 16.8% said their personal finances were better off, while 50% saw no difference in their kitty.

Pensioners were the more optimistic about their personal financial situation with 27% saying it was better than last year.

Pensioners were largely insulated from the wage cuts and job losses that hounded others throughout the pandemic. The elderly continued to receive their monthly pension with the statutory increases.

This is also reflected in the fact that pensioners also represented the group with the smallest number of people saying their financial situation was worse off (20.2%).

The worst hit in this pandemic year were those aged between 36 and 50. Only 8.3%in this age group said their personal financial situation had improved and a whopping 42.4% said it had worsened.

Of note is the Gozo region where a significant 61% said their personal financial situation worsened in 2020, possibly a reflection of the island’s dependence on tourism.

When analysed by political allegiance, Labourites were more likely than Nationalists to have experienced a better financial situation in 2020.

There were 20.9% of people who voted for the PL in the 2017 election who said their personal financial situation was better this year, as opposed to 13.8% of PN voters.

But 28.6% of PL voters and 37.6% of PN voters said their personal financial situation was worse off.

Good year, bad year

Outside the realm of personal finances, when asked whether 2020 was a good year, 21.7% of all respondents said yes, while 29.4% said no. Almost half (48.9%) said 2020 was ‘so and so’.

More than a quarter of PL voters (26.7%) and 15.8% of PN voters said 2020 was a good year.

But PN voters were twice more likely to describe 2020 as a bad year for them than PL voters. While 40.4% of those who voted PN in the last election said 2020 turned out to be a bad year for them, only 21.4% of PL voters described this year as bad.

With COVID-19 disrupting travel, only 18.9% said they went on a holiday abroad in 2020. A breakdown by party allegiance shows that 24% of Nationalist voters and 13.1% of Labourites travelled overseas for their holiday.

Methodology

The survey was carried out between Monday 30 November 2020 and Friday 4 December 2020. 641 respondents opted to complete the survey. Stratified random sampling based on region, age and gender was used to replicate the Maltese demographic. The estimated margin of error is 4.9% for a confidence interval of 95% for the overall results. Demographic and sub-group breakdowns have significantly larger margins of error.

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