Opinion: empty boasts

Silvio Schembri bragged on Facebook: “Official EU statistics published today show the success of the Stabbiltà initiative and that our work is producing the required results.”

What success was Schembri touting? To which EU statistics was he referring?

That success was nothing of the sort.  Schembri’s post was just another piece of fiction created by Labour to continue with its deception of the nation.

Eurostat just published the March 2024 euro indicators. They showed that the annual inflation in the euro area was 2.4%, down from 2.6% in February.

However, they also showed that Malta’s inflation for March 2024 was 12.5% higher than the euro area average.

There was far worse news.  The inflation in our nearest European neighbour, Italy, was just 1.2%.

Malta’s was more than double. If that’s a huge success for Silvio Schembri, you’d shudder to think what failure looks like.

You might argue that Italy is on the European mainland. It doesn’t have the additional transport costs of an island like Malta. But what about Cyprus? Their inflation was just 1.6%, just over half Malta’s.

And if you really want to know how far worse off we are than some other EU nations, look at Lithuania. Their inflation was a mere 0.4%. Oddly, Lithuania’s political leaders never brag about economic success.

ONE news was fueling Schembri’s false hype. It was artificially inflating Labour’s manipulated narrative.  “Currently, our country has the lowest inflation rate since the beginning of the unprecedented challenges with the global pandemic and the war in Ukraine,” ONE reported.

“Compared to January, when the price reduction initiative was introduced, inflation fell by 1% — this happened thanks to the initiative termed Stabbiltà, which brought a 15% reduction in 15 different food categories,” ONE added.

“The Minister of the Economy announced that food prices are on average 2% cheaper than in January,”the Labour Party’s station added.

Silvio Schembri is trying to convince the public that food prices have gone down and taking credit for it. It’s Labour’s Stabbiltà that’s done it. Well, if you only eat corned beef and french fries, you might have noticed Schembri’s 2% reduction.

That’s a drop in the price of a 200g can of corned beef from €2.82 to €2.76. Well done, Silvio. Amazing success.

Nobody’s buying Schembri’s drivel. At least not anybody who does his own shopping. Everybody knows food prices haven’t dropped.

They’re still rising, maybe at a slightly lower rate than the 11% inflation recorded in January, but they are rising.

ONE’s shameless propaganda won’t make people forget that reality.  They know what they’re spending and how hard it is to make ends meet.  For them, the next payday can’t come soon enough.

Even ONE was forced to admit food prices are still going up.  In March, they were up another 6%. That’s far higher than the euro area average.

Even the price of basic items, such as milk, has risen significantly.  A litre carton is 15% costlier. If you’re lactose intolerant, lactose-free milk now costs €1.40.

Wages, on the other hand, haven’t budged. The constant increase in food prices has made all of us effectively poorer.  Every euro we earn buys less and less every month.

What’s more depressing is that our neighbours – Italy and Cyprus – haven’t seen their prices rise half as much as ours.

To add insult to injury, while paying through our noses for basic items like milk, we’re made to endure Schembri’s smirk while he brags about Labour’s colossal success.

He’s not alone.  His leader and prime minister, Robert Abela, bragged at his weekly Sunday sermon that “the Stabbiltà scheme reduced the recommended retail price of 15 food items, which helped curb inflation.”

He claimed his government brought about “an economic revolution, with an economy that is giving the best results of all European economies.”

What best results?  Those Eurostat figures don’t put Malta at the top of the table. Far from it.

Is the Maltese citizen better off?  Does the average wage take you further? Absolutely not.

So, what’s Abela boasting about? He’s probably trumpeting the fact that Malta’s GDP is growing faster than other European nations, thanks to the tens of thousands of additional third-country nationals.

Malta isn’t among the European countries with the best quality of life. You’ll find the Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Finland at the top of that table.

Malta is at the very bottom of the European quality of life table — worse than Bulgaria and Romania. Weren’t we promised we’d be the best in Europe?

So if Malta’s cost of living keeps rising faster than our wages, property is out of most people’s reach, and our quality of life is significantly worse, what kind of success is Silvio Schembri celebrating?

Labour has had over a decade to deliver its promise of “the best in Europe”. It’s nowhere near achieving that. It’s let us all down, especially those who trusted the party with their vote.

Abela has no choice but to paint his abysmal failures as glorious successes. Next time you’re at the supermarket, look at your bill and compare it to last week’s. That should lay to rest Labour’s false narrative of “an economic revolution.”

                           

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D M Briffa
D M Briffa
27 days ago

The interesting question is how, if at all, the PN will try to get across the message that the government is lying to everyone. Some people are afraid of negative campaigning. I would argue that the time is now right for it. It can have the effect of making people not vote at all. That could be a good thing, if it means that Labour voters abstain. Opposition voters are motivated to unseat the government. Negative campaigning will motivate them further.

Manwel
Manwel
27 days ago

Mr. Cassar, let me tell you what the best results are. The rich are becoming seriously rich, in the hundreds of millions richer. Politicians and their muppets get kickbacks. A percentage of 100 million is better than of 100 thousand, right? What’s not to like ?
And please, please, please, let me abuse your platform to try to end this load of bull about high or higher transport costs .
Have transport costs increased in the past 3 years? Yes. Without doubt. Let us say that post Cvd, they tripled. So a 20,000 kg non chilled container shipped from Europe has gone up to, let’s say, €12,000. So the increase would have been €8000. But remember we have 20 tons of goods, so assuming bulky 2kg items we have 10,000 items. Their cost delivered therefore increased by 80 cents each. So why is 800g of powdered milk from France, €7 more expensive here than a French supermarket? Why is 500g of muesli €4.50 here but €2.30 in Ireland? The list is too long to write here. Even with my highest transport cost calculation, I did find cheaper, most items are way overpriced in Malta. Why is this so?
And you know what, relatively fixed costs like electricity, are much cheaper in Malta as the government is indebting Maltese citizens to once again keep millionaire friends happily getting richer The average Joe, could live with a doubling of electricity cost, complain, economise a bit, but live they will. But politicians who are incredibly all savvy business owners now, and other buddies in business would have a serious issue at hand.

Last edited 27 days ago by Manwel
Mick
Mick
26 days ago

Wow you’re spot again Kevin, I’ve had to abandon Corned beef and use spam, even frozen chips are well increased, so now it’s easier to make my own, but I have to make the oil last a bit longer as it’s also creeping up. BULLSHIT is currently plentiful and as soon as my voting cheque arrives I will get some more Corned Beef.

joe tedesco
joe tedesco
23 days ago

THE PL GOVERNMENT THRIVES EXCLUSIVELY ON LIES,
DECEIT AND EMPTY TALK.
PROFESSOR CASSAR DELIGHTFULLY BURSTS ALL
THEIR EMPTY BUBBLES.

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