Budget fails to address the country’s long term challenges – ADPD

Last Monday’s Budget while containing a number of positive measures was a lost opportunity: it failed to project a long-term view of the necessary changes needed to address the country’s upcoming challenges. The Budget fails to offer a vision to mitigate the ever-increasing impact from climate change while the solution presented to make up for the rising cost of living is a weak proposition that does not face up to the real problem. ADPD – The Green Party spokespersons addressed these issues at a press conference in front of Parliament in Valletta this morning.

ADPD – The Green Party Chairperson Carmel Cacopardo highlighted how the Budget speech failed to mention how climate change is impacting our economy. Some of these impacts are already being felt while others will follow.

As an island state we are facing and will continue to face significant impacts as a result of climate change. The fact that the Budget almost completely ignored this issue means that the Minister of Finance does not yet understand the gravity of the situation. There are no indications at all in the Budget of the necessary preparations that need to be made to combat the economic impact of climate change.

In spite of the millions of euros that have been spent on flooding mitigation measures over the years, we still see flooded roads every time there is a storm. We have repeatedly highlighted the serious lack of adequate infrastructure, as well as the fact that existing buildings do not have wells to collect rainwater. The authorities’ incompetence, and their utter disregard for the matter, shows that they do not really care. The budget is silent on all this, Cacopardo said.

There is a lack of long term vision on the impacts of climate change on our country, in particular how this will affect our maritime and coastal infrastructure. The rise in the sea level is going to impact us, despite the fact that the when and how are not certain yet. The need for urgent planning to be prepared is now. Even about this issue the Budget fails to mention anything.

Besides the maritime infrastructure itself, one also finds tourism facilities along the coast, most of which at sea level which would mean they would suffer immensely from any sea level rise. Various residential areas are also at sea level. The fact that this was not mentioned in the Budget means that the Government has no plans in this respect. This is worrying especially since the country cannot afford any further setbacks than what it has already suffered.

It is worrying that the budget mentions the involvement of the private sector in environmental projects, specifically in their financing. This is a red alert that should worry us all because it will mean that the environmental destruction that we have seen so far is bound to continue.

Undoubtedly this is a budget which is lacking in ideas of what is needed in the environmental sector. It also does not want to detach itself from an economy based on low wages and an inadequate minimum wage. This is a Budget of a government which still believes in the individual’s dependency on government benevolence. It is a Budget that does not have a long-term vision with suitable plans to address the environmental and social challenges for a better quality of life for all, with better use of the limited resources of our country, concluded Cacopardo.

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