Curia launches 'Beyond GDP' report, calls for adoption of Better Living Index

Church calls on government to measure economy through socio-economic indicators coupled with economic growth

Credit: Archdiocese of Malta
Credit: Archdiocese of Malta

The Justice and Peace Commission within the Curia has launched an initiative, inspired by the international event "The Economy of Francesco", calling on governments to measure the economy through socio-economic indicators as well as through economic growth.

The Beyond GDP initiative encourages the use of the OECD Better Living Index in addition to GDP when measuring quality of life. The report highlights six dimensions index to reflect the local context, namely income, housing, education, jobs, health and lifestyle, and environmental quality. A variety of indicators relative to each sector were singled out to help give an in-depth view of living conditions, such as in-work poverty and NEET statistics.

One of the key recommendations of the study was for government to set up a national well-being framework in collaboration with social partners, along with an open data platform monitoring the main areas of focus. The Church further calls for a revisiting of the COLA mechanism, with primary focus on the concept of a living wage to better support low-income groups.

Daniel Darmanin, President of the Justice and Peace Commission, commented that the poor continue to find themselves in worse situations. "When global wealth is not being spread equitably, the gap between rich and poor is widening, and the environment is being sacrificed for financial growth, we need to stop and think about the effect this is having on our lives," he said.

Satisfied with efforts to bring Church and business entities closer together, Bishop Galea-Curmi hopes that the study will act as a stepping stone for better dialogue and action in creating tangible change in our economic model.

The initiative is a collaborative effort between the Focolare Movemenet and the Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice Foundation, together with EY and Seed Consultancy and added support by APS Bank.

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