Current Affairs
Maltese Forum against poverty calls for concrete actions on minimum income schemes

The Maltese Forum against poverty, which has joined the European Network, appealed for concrete actions for the progressive implementation of adequate minimum income schemes. The issue was addressed during a seminar organized by the forum on the fight against poverty and the need of a decent life for everybody.

Sociologist Dr Josanne Cutajar stated that various European reports show that there are 3,500 persons in Malta on the minimum wage and that elderly women face more poverty risk. Addressing the seminar, entitled Minimum Income for a Decent Life, Dr Cutajar said that a European Commission’s report on Malta also showed that Malta has a high rate of students who do not pursue their studies, while adding that another reality emerges on loans for property purchase.

“It is true that in  Malta we have a high rate of people owning their homes, but if one reads the papers one notices that those not earning the average salary, cannot take a loan to purchase their home. That is both the European Commission expressed concern and myself because these things will affect us negatively”, Dr Cutajar stated.

The latest European report on the health situation, she said, shows that there is a great gab between the health of the rich and the poor because, while 86% of those with a sound income said they feel healthy, only 55% of those with low income said the same thing. The most vulnerable persons in Malta are migrants, with African nationals receiving the lowest wages.

The Forum’s secretary, Andre’ Bonello, said that 14 NGOs joined the forum to raise the voice of vulnerable people. The forum also joined with 36 other countries in Europe to work for adequate and decent income for everyone.

He stated, “people in Malta need not only receive minimum wage, but a decent income. How can a person and a family in Maltese society and also in European country live decently? What income do they need to live decently and are services for the Maltese accessible to them?”

Economist Lino Briguglio said that since 2009, expenditure in the retail price index experienced the highest increase in prices, which he said means that the effect on families with low income is felt greatly than those with an average income.

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