In trying to defend the indefensible, the Minister for Finance, has said that the country is still creating jobs and despite the obvious statistical figures, Malta’s recession was not a reflection of the economy. Dr. Tonio Fenech keeps quoting employment figures but he avoids discussing the quality of life of the average Maltese.
Karmenu Vella, PL spokesman for Finance, has said that Eurostat data shows that the average income of Maltese, increased by approximately 3.1% between 2008 and 2011. In actual fact, this percentage increase is equivalent to five hundred euro (€ 500) in a four-year period, the same amount that GonziPN approved on a weekly basis for the Prime Minister and his Ministers.
According to the National statistics office, the price index for essential items rose by 6.5% over the same four-year period. This is double the average wage increase over the same period. This further proves that the increases families in Malta and Gozo receive, are not even enough to cope with cost-of-living increases. Karmenu Vella said that in 2011, the increase in the price index was four times that of the wage increase. Dr. Fenech mentions increases in wages, but GonziPN does not say that this is insufficient for daily needs. Maltese families know that the recession is hitting into their disposable income and no matter what Dr. Fenech says, the quality of life is worsening steadily.
Figures don’t lie. The official statistics for the first three months of this year show that consumer confidence and spending is down by 4.5%, simply because there is a shortage of disposable income. The Minister’ s speeches could possibly reflect the quality of life of his fellow GonziPN ministers, whose increase of € 500 per week would have surely made a big difference. Tonio Fenech must use different measures for judging the impact of his government’s actions on Maltese families. To GonziPN, some are more equal than others, but to the majority of Maltese families, the deterioration of their quality of life is unforgivable.