Government ignoring cost of living increase and the most vulnerable, PN says

Nationalist MP Ivan Bartolo accuses government of not acknowledging the rising cost of living and is ignoring those most at risk of poverty

PN MP Ivan Bartolo (left) and PN candidate Ivan Castillo
PN MP Ivan Bartolo (left) and PN candidate Ivan Castillo

Nationalist MP Ivan Bartolo said that the cost of living increase is affecting the most vulnerable and the government is ignoring the problem by trying to paint a different picture.

“The government is not acknowledging the reality and is being insensitive towards those most at risk of poverty,” Bartolo said on Friday.

Bartolo mentioned that there are 300 homeless people in Malta, excluding those that are not accounted for. He added that this affects the mental health of those individuals and puts them at risk of social exclusion.

He made reference to fresh statistics by the National Statistics Office showing how inflation has practically doubled and production decrease by 6%.

“The government built an economy on low wages, and reckless spending by employing those closest to the Labour Party, needlessly […] The culture of the Labour government is to reward the selective few and punish the majority,” Bartolo said.

PN candidate Ivan Castillo said the government has no solutions for rising costs and businesses are forced to increase their prices.

READ MORE: Inflation warning as almost half of companies plan price hikes

“The government based the economy on foreign workers, pretending that this would improve the economy. This has instead put more pressure on the wages of the Maltese worker,” argued Castillo.

He stated that foreign workers are now leaving Malta, including those in the finance and the IT industries due to the FATF greylisting. Castillo stressed on the importance of investment into the Maltese workforce, due to the fact that “46% of the Maltese workers are low skilled”.

Castillo appealed to the Government to announce an adequate Cost of Living Adjustment in next Monday’s budget to address this issue.

He mentioned the PN’s proposals to double the current VAT-exempt threshold from €30,000 to €60,000 and the €40 million state fund to help importers with freight costs, as means to tackle the rising costs.