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GWU puts the living wage on the agenda

GWU would like to see a discussion on how the investment in quality of life can be
financed by an adequate income. This discussion should lead to knowing how this
investment is financed, whether by the government or by the employer with a wage

The proposal for this discussion was made by the General Secretary of the General
Workers’ Union, Josef Bugeja, during a conference organised by the GWU on the
so-called living wage. He pointed out that this investment should not be paid by the
government, as the same investment is made from citizens’ taxes.

“I cannot believe and it pains me very much that a person who earns his daily bread
does not earn enough to reach a certain level that the government has to subsidise
his salary. But we have jobs that cannot afford this cost. We have to look at this
together,” said the GWU General Secretary.

He also explained that in the study conducted by the GWU, different categories of
families in Malta were examined. This study took into consideration various factors
including health, food and drink, housing, education, transport and recreation.
The study found that the national lifetime income for a single person without children
should be €14,864, for a single parent with one child €20,099, for a single parent
with two children €26,018, for a couple without children €21,316, for two parents with
one child €25,746 and for two parents with two children €30,734.
In his comments to L-Orizzont, the GWU general secretary said that: “We have done
an extensive study. We have studied different types of families to see how much they
spend and what income they need to achieve a decent quality of life. The second
step is to do a separate study on housing.”

Mr Bugeja said this is all part of a journey that we need to undertake to see how we
are going to achieve this goal, but also how we can increase the competencies, skills
and abilities so that the vacancies that are being created in the economy can be

“Therefore, social mobility is that a person starts from the bottom and starts to move
up in the career to improve their income with skills and competencies not because
the government subsidises his salary or someone gives him charity. But with the
wisdom to equip him with the necessary skills, he should be able to earn a decent
income to lead a decent life for himself and his family,” the GWU General Secretary

On his part, GWU Secretary for Government and Public Entities Kendrick Bondin,
said that with this study, we wanted to understand families and individuals in terms of
their income and expenditure to see if they are living a decent life.
When we talk about income, we do so in a general framework that includes all
aspects such as wages, benefits, pensions, education and health and others.
“Through this study, we identified the level of income required for people in different
socio-economic contexts to live a decent life. This study provides us with a
framework to continue negotiations and discussions at the national level,” Mr. Bondin

The conference was attended by the secretaries of the various sections and even
MPs on behalf of the government and the opposition. The study, entitled “A Proposal
Towards the Definition and Estimates of the National Living Income in Malta 2022″,
was also conducted with the participation of the Grafitti Movement and the Anti-
Poverty Alliance.