Malta Today, 4 June 2008
PRO Zminijietna - Voice of the Left
A further increase in energy bills will only make life more difficult for thousands of Maltese families. Unjust surcharges will increase inequality in Malta, which is already characterised by high inflation rates. Malta’s class inequality is increasingly also being reflected in the use of basic appliances such as water heaters and toilet flushings. Such basics in people’s everyday lives should not be taken for granted by policy makers and lobbyists.
Instead of increasing consumer surcharges in a flat-rate manner, Government should introduce short-term and long-term changes which are more socially just, whilst still generating revenue or cutting costs. Wasteful practices, and not normal consumption rates, should be penalized. The basic energy rate should remain affordable to low and middle income earners. If anything, this requires a decrease in the surcharge rate.
The State should maintain ownership of energy supply and distribution yet diversify the use of different types of energy. This should be done in a manner which realistically caters for Malta’s energy demand whilst being as ecologically sustainable, efficient and sovereign as possible. Zminijietna - Voice of the Left believes that energy use is a universal right and should not be limited to the privileged social classes.