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The poor cannot wait - Mgr Victor Grech

A model for more cooperation between members of Parliament, the Church, non-governmental organisations, public and private enterprises and honest citizens should be created so that those who were suffering would see an increase in their standard of living, Caritas Malta director, Mgr Victor Grech said this evening.

Speaking during a seminar on the effect of poverty on families, organised by Caritas Malta, the Diocesan Commission for Justice and Peace and the Agostinian Community, Mgr Grech said that while the cost of living had increased for everyone at the same rate, not everyone enjoyed the same increase in income.

He said that on a four-year period while people with a high income received a 17 to 20 per cent increase in wages, those who earned less received increases of being two and three per cent.

In the drawing up of social priorities, he said, special attention should be given to the most vulnerable, children under 17, those over 65, single parents, the disabled and the unemployed.

The common good, he said, could be increased and distributed better so that no one would suffer. This could be achieved through more inclusive education especially in the 16 to 18 age range, trade training and more employment opportunities at decent wages.

There was also a need to curb tax evasion, clandestine trade and gambling and there should be more control on the price on essentials, such as medicines.

Improvements had been registered and these had to be safeguarded to remain sustainable. The family policy had also been improved but there were people and families who did not feel included enough in society.

With courage, determination, good will and a wise strategy, a situation where no one was denied what was essential could be achieved.

“The poor cannot wait,” Mgr Grech said.

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