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From minimum wage to living wage

Taken together, the additional mechanism against inflation and the generous increase in the children’s allowance and in the in-work benefit are bringing those on low incomes closer to the concept of a living wage. In recent years there has been a lot of discussion on the concept of the living wage. The latter is meant to ensure that a person working for 40 hours a week can afford the basics for a modest but decent life with no additional income. For instance, in the UK, the...

A low-quality toy story

In 2021 the MCCAA purchased and tested 20 toys from non-EU online marketplaces. No less than 19 of these failed to meet the requirements specified in the EU’s Toy Safety Directive. Making online purchases has never been more attractive. Not only are thousands of products being constantly advertised on our devices whether we like it or not, but they are potentially cheaper and save us the hassle of having to bus, walk, or drive from outlet to...

Our Christmas weather forecast

The closest Malta can ever get to a Christmas-card type of ‘White Christmas’ is if we have a bout of soft hail or snow pellets – also known as graupel. “I’m dreaming of a White Christmas.” That’s what Irving Berlin sang in 1942 for the film Holiday Inn, filmed in the US. Here in Malta, his dream of “sleigh bells in the snow” would have remained just that – a dream. Will the white Christmas phenomenon ever be possible...

Youths to the forefront

It is no wonder that young people are voting less, rejecting party membership, and telling researchers that their country’s leaders aren’t working in their interests. Most young people feel the world is getting better over time and that children will be more prosperous than their parents.  But, according to a global survey of over 22,000 young people from 21 countries by The Changing Childhood Project – a project of the United...
Business & EconomicsVoices

Beyond the austerity straitjacket

Unfortunately, a core group of bureaucrats at the European Commission remain wedded to the myth of fiscal austerity. One hopes that, in the discussions on the EU’s new fiscal rules, this approach will lose out to a more flexible and progressive one. After having gone through the increase in expenditure implied by the draft budgetary plans submitted by the European Union’s Member States in early October, the European Commission issued letters to a number of countries to inform them that they were not conforming to...