[WATCH] Clyde Caruana admits the economic recipe must change ‘otherwise we’re stuck in traffic for two hours’

Clyde Caruana has recognized that the economic recipe based on the importation of labor of which he was a “cheerleader” is unsuitable for the next decade.

The finance minister said a new economic model was needed as the National Statistics Office launched a workforce skills survey.

Caruana said the survey will provide the data on which the government’s economic policy for the next 10 years will be based.

“I was a leader in government policy that promoted a growth in human resources to allow this country to increase its productivity,” Caruana said, adding that it encouraged more people to work and helped reduce dependency. to social benefits.

However, he also admitted that the same recipe adopted over the past 10 years is not suitable for the kind of economic development the country should aim for in the next decade.

“People expect from the government not only economic growth, but economic development; it’s not just about having more money in your pocket, but about having a better quality of life as a whole,” Caruana said.

The Minister said that to achieve this leap in quality of life, the model of economic development must change from that adopted in the two previous legislatures.

He said people are now clamoring for a better quality of life.

“If we adopt the same recipe; in the morning, rather than being stuck in traffic for an hour, we will be stuck for an hour and a half or two hours; the tourism sector will invest in hotels that will remain empty and this will apply to other sectors eventually,” he reiterated.

Caruana said no government can guarantee prosperity if it is not based on research.

A skills census was promised in the last budget but Caruana explained that since this was the first exercise of its kind, the ONS recommended a survey.

It aims to assess the skills of the workforce and provide data on the gaps in the country.

Caruana spoke of the need to focus on quality jobs last year when announcing a consultation exercise on a new employment policy for the country. Malta needs a more skilled workforce to ensure better incomes, he said, but added that the country still needed foreign labour.

After 2013, the Labor government revived the economy by adopting policies that encouraged people to work, while opening the floodgates to foreign labor to boost the workforce.

The country experienced record growth and public finances also deteriorated, but rapid population growth and subsequent development had social, environmental and infrastructural consequences.

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