'Our economic system does not work': Dominican friar leads impassioned speech on social justice

Fr Ivan Attard led an impassioned speech on social justice at a conference on Friday

Dominican friar Fr Ivan Attard led a passionate discourse on social justice during a conference on Friday, arguing against the capitalist economic system for one that remunerates workers more fairly.

In a conference organised by PN MP Ivan Bartolo titled “Living or existing?”, Fr Ivan Attard led a passionate discourse on social justice and precarious work.

“We have an economic system that does not work, and not because the rich are greedy but because the system is unjust," Fr Attard said.

Fr Attard said the price of the market should not dictate wages. Instead, wages should depend on the contribution of the workers. 

He said that the outsourcing of jobs and importation of foreign workers to reduce wages is unjust, not only among foreigners but also among the Maltese.

“What the employee contributes should dictate wages. Business ideas remain only ideas without workers’ contribution,” Fr Attard said.

“It’s comfortable to rely on benefits and charity. Injustice however remains. Why are there homeless people? There is something that is not working,” he continued.

"How is it possible that one works all day and not be able to make ends meet.”

He asked why workers are seen as a cost and not as a contribution, while CEOs are only seen as a value.

Fr Attard then mentioned a case of an individual that needed an MRI but only got an appointment after two years. Eventually, after speaking to someone higher up, he managed to get a swift appointment. He stressed that this is not right.

“We need a paradigm shift from assistance to justice,” Fr Attard concluded.