AD questions the effects of “unbridled market forces on society”
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Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party, in a statement today has called for an in-depth study of economic, social and environmental sustainability for the Maltese islands.
It said that it is alarmed that “unbridled economic considerations where the market trumps everything else is leading to consequences which are reducing the quality of life in the country.”
AD remarked that the recent announcement by Clyde Caruana Chairman of Jobs Plus, that the foreign labour force could increase by another 30,000 heads in the next four years should give us cause to ponder.
According to AD, “this is purely an artificially created increase because of a lack of a long term economic vision rather than the normal and expected flows of people.”
It went on to point out that in a November 2017 position paper on Malta’s demographic challenges, the Malta Employers’ Association had suggested that the population in the Maltese islands could possibly increase to 750,000 within twenty years.
AD Chairperson Carmel Cacopardo and AD spokesperson on social policy Colette Sciberras commented on the effects of what the described as “unbridled market forces on society.”
These projections are cause for alarm as they point towards a possible doubling of the Maltese population within a single generation,” they said.
“The suggestion made by the MEA may at first glance appear to be far fetched but we should not ignore it, even as an improbable hypothesis. It should wake up our planners, if there are any, to ask questions and more importantly to seek answers as to what is the carrying capacity of the Maltese islands.”
Cacopardo and Sciberras said that, “while AD recognises that it is unlikely that economic growth proceeds at its current rate there is still justified concern that current policies and strategies do not provide for such a potentially explosive population growth.”
They said that AD is concerned as to whether the necessary planning is being undertaken, in particular, how our water and energy supplies will cope, and what the impact upon traffic, housing, health and general wellbeing will be.
“Such a surge in population is unprecedented in our history, and will have many unforeseen and unintended consequences. It is pertinent to point out that the Sustainable Development Strategy drawn up in 2006 for the period 2007-2016 was never implemented,” said Cacopardo and Sciberras.
They continued by saying that AD supports MEA’s call for a dialogue involving all stakeholders, and for proper planning to be carried out, and is of the opinion that it is imperative that government determines, through its experts and advisers the ecological, economic and social carrying capacity for the Maltese Islands.
This is necessitated by the physical limits of the Maltese Islands as a result of which it is imperative that the development of the economy should be contained within reasonable ecological and social limits, they said.
They concluded by saying that, “hence the need for an in-depth study to determine the carrying-capacity of the Maltese islands and economic, social and environmental policies which really and truly look at the long term rather than the immediate gains of the few.”