A false sense of improvement?

Malta has registered the largest economic growth in the European Union in 2016, in other words, Malta’s GDP increased by 6.3%. Nicknamed by the present government, as the strongest economy in the EU, it is clear that quantity over quality is what concerns our representatives. One should ask, what are the direct benefits of such economic growth on citizens?

We from ADŻ deplore the use of GDP as the sole indicator of a country’s economic performance. The strength of a country does not depend solely on its economic growth, but also in the way that the general public benefit from such performance. Destroying agricultural land to build apartment blocks contributes to the GDP, but is this desirable and/or necessary?

An expected counterargument is “We reduced water and energy bills by 25% and yet registered a 6.3% GDP increase”. Fair enough; but at what cost? Are people enjoying a better environment? More natural open spaces? Less noise and traffic? Social progress does not always correlate with higher GDP and the aforementioned issues are very relevant to many pockets of society.

We from ADŻ feel the need to focus our energy not only on economic growth, but on sustainable development. We feel that social progress and environment sustainability go hand in hand with economic development, and encourage our government to consider this view also.

James Gabarretta – ADŻ Malta Green Youth International Secretary

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