Adrian Delia pledges to address Malta's 'new poverty'

PN Leadership candidate Adrian Delia highlights spiralling cost of living and high rents as eating away at families' incomes.


PN leadership contender Adrian Delia at this morning's press conference
PN leadership contender Adrian Delia at this morning's press conference

PN leadership hopeful Adrian Delia has pledged to address what he called the “new poverty” facing many Maltese families.

Addressing a press conference at the Msida skate park this morning, Delia expressed concern at the problems that the young people who regularly gather there will inherit from the present generation. These include cost of living, as well as an increasingly fast-paced and competitive lifestyle.

Expenses which were once considered luxuries are now necessities and are eating away at family pay finances, making it hard for many families to make ends meet.

“The PN was the party that created the middle class by levelling inequality as much as possible and opening opportunities in education, business and the public sector, but while the PN was busy creating opportunities and bringing investment to the country it stopped listening to the people...we thought that it would be enough to create wealth.” 

Delia proposed that the Opposition would bind itself to conduct a detailed analysis of situations affecting family life which would be renewed every year. This information would allow it to propose measures in Parliament that would protect those who “are not poor, but not having the time of their lives as this Government would like us to think,” he said, explaining that many people who would normally try to better their position and climb the first step to middle class are finding themselves unable to.

Many families across Malta and Gozo depend on financial relief. “Let us think how we can improve these people's lives.”

“Our position is that the country is doing well financially with its first budget surplus, but we'll see if that really exists or not soon.”

The PN budged would include specific measures to safeguard struggling families, including tax reform for families who live in rented premises, better incentives for first time home buyers, programmes for families in need of family planning and an increase in social assistance to those who are providing care for the disabled or elderly.

Delia proposed “an honest debate on best solutions for those who face those problems on a daily basis.” The PN would take the feedback it receives to prepare laws that would help others enjoy “widespread human dignity.”

Conservative stand on Cannabis

Answering questions from reporters, Delia said he didn't agree with Minister Chris Fearne's stance on marijuana use being a personal choice, saying it was more than that as its ripple effects would spread beyond the individual.

Fearne had not specified the minimum age for legal cannabis use, Delia said, asking “should it be 18, or 21, or 16?” Sociological and scientific studies show that cannabis use is particularly harmful to the young, he said.