Friday, 15 Jun 2012, 03:59


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The European Union’s statistical arm, Eurostat has confirmed that the wage increase in Malta is not sufficient to make up for the cost of living increases in our country.

Data, published yesterday (14 June), clearly indicates that statements by the Minister for Finance, that the quality of life in Malta and Gozo is improving, are completely unfounded. Tonio Fenech claims that better jobs are being created but he cannot substantiate his claims.

Quite the contrary, since the statistics published by Eurostat show that during the first three months of
this year, the average hourly wage increased by 1.2%, whereas the same figures also show that the cost of living and the cost of utilities increased by almost double that amount – 2.3%.

It is interesting to note that the hourly wage in the Industrial sector has increased by 2.9%; the increase for workers in the service industry was only 0.6% in the first three months of 2012.

Statistics for 2011 confirm this trend since workers in the manufacturing industry registered increases of 3% as against an increase of 1.5% in the service industry. The construction industry performed badly. The average hourly increase in 2011 was 0.5% and only 0.1% in the first three months this year. 

These figures demonstrate the difficult period that the construction industry is going through and that the government’s emphasis on increasing employment in the service industry, are not paying dividends. The government should concentrate on quality jobs that enable Maltese workers achieve a better standard of living. 

The Finance Minister quotes favourable statistics but disregards all other data that show the error of his ways. Wages in the Euro zone have increased by an average of 1.8% in the first quarter of 2012, whereas in Malta by only 1.2% - this notwithstanding the fact that our wages are well below the average for the Euro Area17 states.

By not keeping to average standard wage increases, the discrepancy in wages between Malta and the other Euro Area states is increasing.

This data as well as other data published by Eurostat regarding inflation in the EU further be-lie the declarations made by Tonio Fenech. With the third highest inflation rate in the EU and with the lagging behind on justifiable wage increases, the statements regarding the quality of life made by GonziPN
are but figments of imagination or a demonstration of Fenechonomics.


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