PN proposes minimum living income that guarantees fair wages

The Nationalist Party has put forward proposals to address social justice in a conference titled ‘Living or existing?’

The Nationalist Party has proposed the introduction of a minimum living income in Malta that promises to observe the reality of those deprived of material goods.

PN MP Ivan Bartolo put forward the proposal at a conference titled “Living or existing?” Also, in attendance, PN leader Bernard Grech said society had an obligation and a moral duty to observe the reality of those deprived of material goods.

“Statistics do not feed the hungry and don’t provide a decent living to those who can’t make ends meet... Thousands are existing and not living," Grech said.

The PN leader highlighted an increase in food banks and soup kitchens in Malta, which he said showed that the current social benefit schemes were not enough.

Grech also spoke of inflation, acknowledging that international prices were increasing but stressing that the government should intervene and offer help to businesses and consumers.

He also referenced the “theft” on utility bills from the government and reiterated PN’s pledge to refund all those that had anomalies in their bills.

“Time for discourse and discussions is over. Now it’s time for action, and I’m determined that given the opportunity, I will be working for a better country,” Grech said.

Four proposals put forward 

The party's first proposal was to introduce a poverty watch; an independent entity made up of NGOs that would evaluate the national political strategy against poverty and social exclusion. It would reevaluate the national strategy every two years, depending on the country's needs.

The second proposal was to introduce a new mechanism for a minimum living income. It would be aimed at providing everyone with a decent income and improving productivity. Bartolo said this would be beneficial for the employer as well.

The third proposal addressed homelessness and tackled the lack of space in shelters.

The last proposal was to introduce the concept of social corporate responsibility and educate businesses in all industries.

“Let’s all work for the common good through dialogue and tolerance. Let’s work for a just and equal society,” Bartolo said.