During an MCESD meeting, the social partners actively engaged in a discussion regarding Malta’s national living income. Leading the initiative was the General Workers’ Union (GWU), a highly esteemed member of the MCESD, as they presented their comprehensive research on Malta’s national living income. Collaborating with the Graffiti Movement and the Alliance Against Poverty (AKF), GWU conducted this study. Present for this meeting was the Parliamentary Secretary for Social Dialogue, Hon. Andy Ellul.
Three researchers, Dr. Kurt Xerri, Dr. Daniel Gravino, and Dr. Joseph Gravina, who were deeply involved in this study, delivered a detailed presentation to the social partners regarding the research. The presentation not only clarified the quantitative and qualitative aspects of the study but also provided an overview of the study’s methodology.
During the presentation, it was explained how the study involved visiting the homes of Maltese families, which allowed for a profound understanding of their needs. The study comprehensively covered crucial aspects of family life, including health, nutrition, housing, education, transportation, and leisure. Importantly, during the presentation, it was stressed that leisure should be viewed as valuable time for individuals to enrich their lives rather than merely as free time.
The Social Partners praised the GWU’s commitment to carrying out this national study with the aim of identifying and addressing the need to increase the national living income for Maltese and Gozitan families.
Subsequently, the social partners presented a series of recommendations that covered critical topics, including purchasing power. They emphasised the importance of considering workers as valuable assets and investments for businesses rather than mere costs. Additionally, the Social Partners addressed the issue of businesses exploiting foreign workers, which has implications for the labour market. Furthermore, they advocated for increased employment opportunities for people with disabilities to relieve the financial burden on their families.
Throughout the discussion, the social partners reached a consensus regarding the importance of conducting more studies of a similar nature. Such research plays a vital role not only in analysing and comprehending Maltese society and its living standards but also in igniting societal ambitions for an improved quality of life and mapping out the means to achieve it. It was underscored that the social partners are dedicated to collaborating on methodologies designed to enhance both employment opportunities and overall quality of life, ultimately benefiting the citizens of Malta and Gozo.
The Chairman of the MCESD, Perit David Xuereb, mentioned that these discussions remain dynamic within the meetings of the Low Wage Commission (LWC). The LWC is actively involved in crafting recommendations for a potential review of Malta’s minimum wage by the year’s end, maintaining regular discussions with representatives from unions, employers, and the government.