If I were to sit down and list the number of problems winning a million euro would help solve in my life, it would be endless. But would it fix me? Would it make me a better human being or more intelligent? Definitely not. No amount of money can fix that, sadly. That is the same situation we are continuously faced within this country, a country plagued by people with access to loads of taxpayer’s money yet little common sense.
Take, for example, one of this week’s most ridiculous pledges by the government: a grant of €150 to people who adopt a cat or a dog from a licenced animal sanctuary in a bid to put people off from buying from private breeders. I mean: Mulej, ħudni.
Do they genuinely think that those who were prepared to spend some €850 (or more!) on a pedigree pet will change their minds because the government is offering them €150? That’s not really how it works. Most people who buy pedigree dogs and cats either do so because they’ve always dreamt of owning a specific breed or as status symbols. Your €150 just isn’t going to meet either of those criteria. And that’s not even going into the fact that this amount is not enough for anyone out there who can’t afford a pet but could give it a loving home nonetheless. In other words, these €150 are just a random incentive that is neither here nor there.
But, alas, this is hardly surprising from a government that continues to throw money at things mindlessly. Look at our roads: so much is being done, yet so little is being solved. Indeed, things have got even worse because, sure, let’s close off a quarter of Malta’s roads at the same time and build flyovers to heaven and beyond. Meanwhile, the number of vehicles on the roads keeps increasing, public transport remains ineffective, and by the time we finish all these projects, there’ll be so many more cars on the roads that we’ll have to start all over again.
What this government – and many previous ones, for that matter – fails to understand is that money alone doesn’t solve complex problems. We need brains to fix what is wrong and, believe me, there is no surplus of that among our political elite. Those €150 should have gone to helping more animal sanctuaries, helping local councils neuter stray animals and giving them adequate shelter, on educating the next generation to adopt rather than buy.
Oh, and just in case the government was ‘shocked’ by the response this silly idea has received, then maybe it should invest some of our hard-earned tax money into research and proper, long-term policy drafting. Between the LGBTQ sticker and the €150 to adopt a pet, it’s starting to feel like we’re in a bad episode of Little Britain.