Eco­nomic lais­sez-faire ben­e­fit­ting the few and not the many, AD charges

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

Al­ter­nat­tiva Demokratika yes­ter­day charged that the gov­ern­ment’s “eco­nomic lais­sez-faire ben­e­fit­ting the few and not the many”.

AD noted that sta­tis­tics pub­lished show that 40 per cent of peo­ple in Malta liv­ing in rented prop­er­ties are liv­ing at risk of poverty.

“That such a sit­u­a­tion has been al­lowed to de­velop is a sign of ap­a­thy on the gov­ern­ment’s part. These sta­tis­tics show that the prob­lem is huge and deeply rooted,” said Anna Az­zopardi, AD spokesper­son on so­cial pol­icy and so­cial di­a­logue.

“The in­evitable con­clu­sion is that while the econ­omy is grow­ing, it is de­vel­op­ing into an econ­omy for the few and not the many. The mar­ket is only work­ing for the ben­e­fit of the few, while oth­ers carry the bur­den of a lais­sez-faire ‘probusi­ness’ at­ti­tude.

“The run­away in­creases in rent have been with us for quite a while, so much so that two years ago, at a Car­i­tas meet­ing, Michael Far­ru­gia, then Min­is­ter for the Fam­ily and So­cial Sol­i­dar­ity, said that he does not want any im­po­si­tions or in­ter­ven­tions on prop­erty prices. Un­for­tu­nately, since then prices have reached ex­ces­sive lev­els for the ma­jor­ity of the Mal­tese peo­ple.

“This means that more peo­ple, liv­ing in rented places, are strug­gling to make ends meet af­ter fork­ing out a huge chunk of their in­come for rent.

“Pro­pa­ganda paints a pic­ture of a healthy econ­omy, how­ever the plight of the poor is not be­ing heard enough, on the con­trary it is of­ten be­ing ig­nored. When point­ing out that there is suf­fer­ing out there, the standard an­swer is that the econ­omy is do­ing well and that things are be­ing blown out of pro­por­tion. We have reached a stage where the gov­ern­ment needs to ad­mit and ac­cept that there is an ur­gent need to in­ter­vene in the prop­erty mar­ket - in par­tic­u­lar in the rent mar­ket. The gov­ern­ment can do this by ad­dress­ing more ag­gres­sively the so­cial hous­ing sit­u­a­tion, with so­cial hous­ing pro­vided to those who re­ally need it.

“There are other things which can be done and we expect, the long promised White Pa­per on the rental mar­ket to of­fer so­lu­tions to improve the qual­ity of life the most vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple in our so­ci­ety.”

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