Minister for Finance Prof. Edward Scicluna discusses the Cost of Living Adjustment, and the Opposition’s claims that it was somehow positive that during the previous administration the COLA increase was comparatively higher.
Minister Scicluna explains that the COLA mechanism was originally introduced by the Nationalist Administration in 1991 and was established specifically to be independent of the Government.
He explains that this means that the COLA increase is not chose or determined in any way by the Government, but is set automatically by a set mathematical formula which takes into account factors such as the inflation for the previous 12 months, with the agreement of the social partners in MCESD.
Prof. Scicluna also notes that despite how this year’s COLA increase may be comparatively small due to the lowest inflation registered during the country’s economic lifetime, wages in Malta have been nevertheless increased by €150 million this year over last year. This translates into an average increase per worker of €7 per week.
He further explains that the Government is looking towards the coming budget as an opportunity to ensure that those dependent solely on the COLA for an increase in income are not ignored, but that their circumstances are addressed by tailor-made budget measures.
He affirms that the Government is determined to keep inflation low while also ensuring that even those at risk of poverty benefit from the positive economic growth being registered by the country.
Friday, October 24, 2014