GWU wants COLA rise paid in advice to counter rising food prices

Social partners at MCESD discuss rising food prices and supply chain problems and costs

The GWU has proposed that a partial increase in the Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) be granted in advance to cover inflationary price increases.

The proposal was made at the Maltese Council for Economic and Social Development where government and social partners discussed inflation, logistic costs and security of supply.

The GWU said that in such exceptional circumstances, a partial increase in COLA should be effected in advance by the State.

GWU secretary-general Josef Bugeja said annual inflation in April had peaked after months of rising food prices, to 5.67% up from 4.43% the previous month.

The meeting was addressed by economy minister Silvio Schembri and parliamentary secretary for social dialogue Andy Ellul.

Bugeja said it was only fair that COLA payments be effected immediately to help families cope with the rise in cost of living, ahead of the 1 January 2023 date for the COLA increase.

Schembri said the government was already intervening on energy inflation with a multi-million cushion against rising gas prices in Europe.