Traffic will get twice as bad in the near future unless Malta overhauls its entire economic model, Finance and Employment Minister Clyde Caruana warned today.
In a speech launching Malta’s first national skills survey, Caruana strongly suggested a shift from “muscatonomy”, the economic model promoted by former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat which prioritized rapid economic growth at the cost of overdevelopment, overpopulation and related social problems.
“I don’t mind saying that I was at the forefront, some would call me the cheerleader, in promoting government policy for Malta to attract human resources to develop its capacity to production,” Caruana said, referring to his time in Malta. in charge of JobsPlus.
“That was government policy for the past two Parliaments and since 2013 our job market has grown and grown steadily.”
“Social dependency has dropped significantly while Malta’s employment rate has risen from the bottom of the EU rankings to 8th place.”
“However, we cannot expect the economy to continue growing for the next 10 years using this same recipe. People expect not only economic growth, but better economic development, which which means people will not only have more money to spend, but a better quality of life.
“To make this leap forward in quality of life, our economic development and growth must be different.
“If we stick to the same recipe, then instead of spending an hour in traffic jams to get to work, we will start spending an hour and a half or two hours there. We will continue to build hotels but the beds will not be filled. It is clear that the recipe of the past cannot be applied to the future.
“We will end up wasting our scarce resources which could be invested in other areas and give us a better result,” he said.
Like many politicians, Caruana said Malta should learn from Singapore’s economic development path.
“Let’s forget for a moment that our political systems are different from each other, but if we go back in time before the two countries gained their independence, there was not such a difference in the standard of living of the two countries. . However, the level is now much higher in Singapore than in Malta.
Caruana said the way forward is to invest heavily in the skills of the Maltese workforce, with the new survey being the first step in this regard.
“We cannot expect to see better results if we continue to repeat what we have done so far. However, if we change the way we work and strive for more value addition, I am convinced that government can provide another kind of economic growth that leads to better economic development.
Should Malta update its economic model?