COLA could reach €13 if inflation level persists- MEA / Malta News Briefing – Friday 21 April 2023

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COLA could reach €13 if inflation level persists- MEA

The current rate of inflation will require an increase in COLA of €13 for 2024, which will definitely have an adverse effect on many businesses, MEA’s Joseph Farrugia has warned. Farrugia warned that together with pressure to further increase the minimum wage, this would result in unprecedented wage inflation that would impact the competitiveness of many companies and fuel further inflation to the detriment of both businesses and consumers.
‘Unprecedented wage inflation’. He called for the introduction of a stabilisation mechanism that would leave the calculation of COLA unchanged but would even out the spikes over a number of years. (Times of Malta)

Malta to keep subsidy on energy prices

The government will continue cushioning energy prices, to ensure the “long-term stability of our economy and mitigate against the negative impacts of inflation on our households,” PM Robert Abela has revealed. “Our strategy is clear. We will keep assisting businesses through energy costs which make weight for market failures as an island state relying heavily on transport by sea and air,” Abela said. (Maltatoday)

Malta’s wage growth one of lowest in Europe

Malta registered the lowest increase in average hourly wages and salaries in the euro area last year, according to figures compiled by Eurostat. Hourly wages and salaries grew within every member state of the European Union, increasing by an average of 4.4% in the EU and 4% in the euro area. But among euro area members, Malta was one of three countries – Italy and Finland are the others – where hourly wages increased the least, by just 2.3%. (Newsbook)

Morning Briefing

Man arrested after assault on Italian holidaymaker
Police have arrested a man in connection with the alleged sexual assault of an Italian teacher holidaying in Malta. Sources say the suspect was arrested after he was identified from images taken from security cameras at an establishment in Buġibba. Lara Ali Shahin, a teacher and local councillor from Italy’s Veneto region was followed into a hotel and assaulted by the aggressor after she had refused his advances earlier at a club. Reports suggest the man is likely be arraigned within the next 48 hours, depending on the results of the police investigation. (Times of Malta/Maltatoday)

Labour claims reforms on top of its agenda, not austerity

The Labour Party said that it is the party of investment and employment, which generates wealth to support families, businesses, pensioners and young people. In a press conference, Minister Miriam Dalli spoke of the economy’s achievements, and said that this was possible because the Government adopted reformist policies and not austerity policies. She said that the Malta Enterprise had approved €75 million in new projects, which between them will create around 1,000 jobs in three years. Minister Dalli also mentioned new economic niches which the country is attracting, including fintech, virtual reality, cyber, the blue economy and the green economy. (TVM)

Scicluna insists on no role in Electrogas deal

Former finance minister Edward Scicluna reiterated that he had nothing to do with the controversial selection of Electrogas for a new gas-fired power station at Delimara, after Keith Schembri testified under oath that the current Central Bank of Malta governor necessarily had to be involved in a project of the scale. The now Central Bank Governor downplayed suggestions that Schembri lied under oath when he made his statements, pointing out that the Finance Ministry had to be involved subsequently when Electrogas was granted a controversial €360 million guarantee for its loans. (Newsbook)

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