The European Commission’s Annual Country Report on Malta confirms that the country’s economic achievements have not translated into a better quality of life for the population at large, the PN said.
In a statement to the press, finance spokesman Mario de Marco and economy spokesman called on Prime Minister Robert Abela to reflect on the policy actions required to ensure a just economic growth.
“Once again, the Nationalist Party appeals for a concerted effort to ensure that Malta’s success is not measured on raw economic numbers but through the improvement of the social wellbeing of its population,” the MPs said.
The MPs argued that the report confirmed the party’s long-held view that “economic success is not being enjoyed by the majority of the population.”
They pointed out that in spite of the high levels of economic growth, the EU highlighted a number of challenges, including high student underachievement, the highest gender employment gap in the EU and the increased risk of poverty within a number of sectors of society. These factors, they added, were likely to restrict growth in the medium to longer-term.
The MPs said that the Commission’s report added to recent findings by the International Monetary Fund, which highlighted that population growth has been a key driver of economic growth. However, it also resulted in pressures on the housing market, social services, health services and the education system, as well to an unabated growth of house prices.
The IMF report was also critical of Malta’s efforts to combat pollution, with emissions projected to continue increasing under current policies.