Families struggling to make ends meet, PN warns

PN MPs Ivan Bartolo and Charles Azzopardi claim that government is failing to address inflation properly, as it promised before the election

As inflation looms over Malta, Nationalist Party MPs have warned that families are struggling to make ends meet.

In a press conference, PN MPs Ivan Bartolo and Charles Azzopardi said that inflation is becoming a greater struggle for people on low incomes, while claiming that government has failed to address the issue properly.

“Government has, for nine months, promised to do something as inflation increases. But as everyone knows, the promise hasn’t been kept,” Bartolo said. 

Bartolo explained that those in lower-income groups are suffering the most, having to spend a large chunk of their income on basic items.

He remarked that government is wasting public funds on things like large banners to advertise new housing projects.”With that money, they could have built a new unit.”

Bartolo added that, as the scholastic term looms, parents are worrying that they might not be able to afford certain school items for their children.

He then pointed out that there is a growing number of homeless people. He explained that, as rents have increased, people are being forced out of their homes and are left having to ask others for a roof over their head or resorting to homeless shelters – some of which are already full. “If a person rents at €750, and earns just over the minimum wage, how can they survive?”

While government introduced reforms in the housing and rental sector, Bartolo pointed out that people who rent are still struggling to plan their futures because of fluctuating rental prices.

He then pointed to two phenomenons: lower-income groups having to spend more on essential goods, and an increasing wealth gap.

PN MP Charles Azzopardi built on Bartolo’s points, saying that rising inflation means people are struggling to find a roof over their heads.

He said that he met with families recently who have had to ask their loved ones for help to make ends meet.

Here, he pointed a finger at the Labour government, which he said is more concerned with catering to those in its clique than in its electorate.

“How can a family, a couple with two children, live a decent life with less than €1,500?”

He added that the government should not blame the war in Ukraine, or the COVID-19 pandemic, for the lowered standard of living.

On top of this, he said that Malta should work towards establishing a living income rate, even before raising the minimum wage.

“What the government fails to do, we will do ourselves,” he concluded.