Church says Budget contributes little to the common good

Passports scheme should be questioned for moral, ethical issues

The Budget gave undue attention to financial aspects and one-off measures that cost several millions of euros but contribute little to the common good, according to the Curia's Justice and Peace Commission, which also took a strong stand against the cash-for-passports scheme.

“Political and economic decisions must abandon the logic of short-sighted efficiency with an eye on profit and the ballot box. Instead, such decisions should be made in the interest of the common good which is not simply the sum of individual interests. In order to attain it, one must move from ‘what is good for me’ to that ‘which is good for all’," said the Commission for Justice and Peace.

A portion of the surplus ... derives from the Malta Citizenship by Investment Programme. The source of this income is not sustainable and its moral and ethical implications should be questioned

“While the financial aspect is important, it does not entirely determine quality of life,” it said, adding that it did introduce a number of positive and encouraging measures, such as the waste and the plastic bottles scheme, public transportation, domestic violence, adoption and fostering.

The commission warned that the current model of development based on Gross Domestic Product and surpluses excludes other important aspects that should be taken into consideration.

“Indeed, a portion of the surplus that will shore up the Budget measures, derives from the Malta Citizenship by Investment Programme. The source of this income is not sustainable and its moral and ethical implications should be questioned. Therefore, a good, adequate and long-term measure should not be a one-off thing, or taken for a particular occasion, but should leave an impact on the daily lives of individuals and society through changes in attitude, in lifestyles, in production and consumption, and in t =he way we lead a healthy life.”

The commission delved into a number of issues in more depth. It called for a long-term plan to tackle transportation and traffic, which would build on the Budget’s positive measures.

It also commented on housing and the rent market, saying the focus needed to be the protection of the rights of all parties, particularly the most vulnerable.

“Housing is not a commodity, but a basic right, since it befits society to protect the life and the dignity of its members by providing the conditions where their life and dignity are not being undermined.

The question of high rents remains precarious and worrying

“While the Budget emphasised rightly that the rent control of the past and over regulation will no longer be reintroduced, the issue of unaffordable high rents persists. Until adequate solutions as stated by the Budget are implemented to help these tenants in effective ways, while at the same time doing the right thing by the proprietors, the question of high rents remains precarious and worrying.”


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