The creation and distribution of wealth must be put at the top of the national agenda again. Even official statistics show how inequality has spread in our society and there is a growing conviction among many people that a few are allowed to grab as much as they can while the rest find it hard to make ends meet.
In its latest Survey on Income and Living Conditions the National Statistics Office (NSO) had found out that half of the people living on these islands have an in come of less than €10,000 a year. A person is considered poor if it earns less than €6,000. The same study shows that there are at least 61,000 persons at risk of poverty – 15% of the population.
The same NSO survey shows that without our social benefits like children’s allowance, pensions, unemployment and sickness benefits the number of those living in poverty would more than double and from 15% shoots up to 36%. Without a welfare state, those living at the risk of poverty on these islands would reach over 140,000 – more than a third of our population.
The NSO survey shows that there are more women than men at risk of poverty. One out of every five children is at the risk of poverty. 19% of those over the age of 85 is also at the risk of poverty.
53% of single parents’ families are at risk of poverty. A third of those living in poverty have two parents and two or three children.
Most of those risking poverty are concentrated in the south of Malta – 18%, 3% higher than the national average - although there are pockets of poverty in other areas in Malta and Gozo. More than a third of unemployed also live at the risk of poverty.
The Labour Party has historically introduced and built the welfare state in Malta and Gozo to create a fairer society. After 25 years of growing inequalities, the Labour Party is called upon again to create a fairer society. The Labour Party will address social inequality and poverty with social and economic measures that will create and distribute wealth fairly in society.