Malta said to be losing €725 million a year, or 8.65% of the GDP, to corruption according to a report released by the European Green Party entitled ‘The Costs of Corruption Across the EU’.
The report points out that the sum is more than 20 times the unemployment budget (€36m), and almost the entire sum allocated to the elderly (€735m). Not to mention that it is 10 times more than the police budget (€67m), and more than 90 times the fire service budget (€8m).
It was also pointed out that Malta loses more money to corruption than it spends on education (€510m), housing (€16m), family and children (€102m), and sickness and disability (€108m). In summary, roughly 65% of the entire social expenditure budget (€1.1b) is lost to corruption.
When going into how this affects the individual, the report points out that the money lost is enough to pay a regular annual Maltese wage to 42,900 people. That also translates into being able to buy 1.7 litres of beer or 2 kilograms of bread every day for each person in Malta. In Mc Donald’s terms, that 398 Big Macs a year for every single person in Malta.
The Green Party also briefly discussed the local perception of corruption in Malta. According to a 2017 Eurostat survey, 54% of respondents in Malta believed corruption got worse in the previous three years, with 24% believing it was constant throughout. Around 11% believed there was less corruption.
Meanwhile, 79% believe that corruption is “widespread”, 66% consider it part of the business culture, and 10% know someone who has taken bribes. Only 83% said the corruption is unacceptable.
The report also points out that the overall cost of corruption across the entire EU is around €904 billion a year. This amount could end world hunger; provide education to all children in 46 low-income countries; help eliminate malaria; provide safe water and sanitation; expand healthcare to provide universal care in low and middle-income countries; and invest in giving everyone access to electricity by 2030. After all that, according to the Greens, there would still be around €360 billion left.