A cheque every now and then is good, but send me one every week and you’ll have a voter for life

No 21. Edward Scicluna’s bread-and-milk money

What are we skinning? The one-off cheque most of us will supposedly be getting from the government to make up for rising bread and milk prices.

Why are we skinning it? Because it’s a one-off cheque of €35 for families and €15 for single people that is clearly a reactive and populist move designed to prevent the electorate from asking the hard questions.

Hard questions? What do you mean? Well, the first one that pops to mind isn’t all that hard, actually… namely, after the cheque has been spent on x amount of milk cartons/loaves of bread, what then?

Well okay… but surely it’s better than nothing? Yes, it is. But adopting a ‘better than nothing’ attitude to every single ‘solution’ proposed by this government is what will lead to a massive pile-up of problems in the near future.

Look, I was raised not to look a gift horse in the mouth. Ingratitude is deeply unsexy, I agree.

Being broke is even less sexy. So I’ll take what I can get. Okay, okay. So will I. But tomorrow will be another day, a day that the government may not be in either a mood or a position to issue cheques willy-nilly.

So you’re saying this cheque is one massive tease? ‘Tease’ is just about right. Individually, it’s a paltry sum, the hint of having money in your pockets. The promise of more. But that’s about it.

Okay, so what we need to do is make sure that the government keeps sending us cheques on a regular basis? Or, we could collectively raise our voices in favour for a more socially robust economic model which does not require the government to panic-distribute handout money to the general populace in an attempt to placate more sustained and widespread frustration at the fact that the cost of living is going up while wages continue to stagnate.

At least now we definitely know that we’ve got a problem there. Yep.

The truth shall set you free? Let’s hope so.   

Do say: “The government issuing cheques to compensate for the cost of living may temporarily generate a feel-good factor and a sense that the powers-that-be care for our immediate well-being, but such temporary solutions also hint at a reluctance towards addressing deep-seated problems, and an attempt to nip any productive criticism towards our economic model in the bud”

Don’t say: “A cheque every now and then is good, but send me one every week and you’ll have a voter for life.”

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