Aqra dan l-artiklu bil-Malti
One in six workers in Malta earn less than €1,000 a month, and more than 2,300 full-time workers earn the minimum wage of just €835 per month, statistics released in response to a series of parliamentary questions last week show.
While figures for salaries between January and March of this year show an average of €1,848 per month, the median salary, an estimate which is less sensitive to extreme data points, was just €1,582 per month.
The statistics were released as concerns are rising over the increased cost of living and inflation. These soaring figures disproportionately affect those with lower salaries and impact an increasingly larger swathe of the Maltese population.
The figures provided by Finance Minister Clyde Caruana last week in response to a series of parliamentary questions by Opposition MP Graziella Attard Previ in June were sourced from the National Statistics Office’s Labour Force Survey.
Caruana said 47,412 workers employed in both full-time and part-time positions were paid under €1,000 last year. While the amount does not factor in overtime, bonuses and allowances, it represents one in six of Malta’s 290,955-person-strong workforce.
In response to another question by Attard Previ, Caruana said 2,372 full-time workers were employed at minimum wage, which currently stands at €193 per week, around €835 per month, or €10,000 per year.
Caruana also said the median national salary for the first financial quarter of 2023 stood at €1,582 per month, translating to around €19,000 per year.
Another NSO study from last July shows that the at-risk-of-poverty threshold is around €11,000 annually. Some 86,000 people were at risk of poverty, translating to almost 17% of Malta’s population.
Malta’s economy relies heavily on low-paid jobs that employ foreign workers statistically more at risk of poverty. While Prime Minister Robert Abela has pledged that the government will reduce the number of foreign workers, the mushrooming of low-paid jobs remains unaddressed.
Last year, prominent voices in anti-poverty, mental health and trade unionism told The Shift that besides poverty risks, low salaries are one of the main reasons why full-time workers suffer from mental stress, a consequence of struggling to make ends meet.