People at risk of poverty or social exclusion fell to 19.99% in 2020 from 20.8% a year earlier, according to a recent survey.
There was, however, a 0.3% increase in the number of people aged 18 to 64 who were at risk of poverty.
The European Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) survey, published by the National Statistics Office, found that the rate of those with material and social deprivation also fell by 9.9% in 2019 to 9.4% in 2020.
The figures are based on revenue recorded in 2019. Non-revenue components such as material depreciation, refer to 2020.
The survey shows that, by 2020, two out of three people are no longer in severe material deprivation of essentials, while three out of five people are no longer materially deprived.
Based on the 2019 income year, the number of people at risk of poverty (ARP) living in Malta has been set at 85,369. They live on an income below € 9,744.
The rate for people aged 65 and over fell to 26.3%, a decrease of 1.4% compared to 2019.
The report noted an increase of 0.3% of people aged 18-64 who were at risk of poverty.
It also shows a significant reduction in the risk of poverty or exclusion among children, with a decrease of 1.3%.
The southern port district is reported to have the largest share of ARP people, 22.5%, followed by the northern port district, with 18.4%.
The report shows that the average disposable household income increased from € 28,505 to € 31,266 – representing a 10% increase over previous years.
Poverty has decreased due to continued government support
Referring to the report in the evening while speaking at a pre-budget consultation meeting What Country Do You Want to Leave to Your Children? Prime Minister Robert Abela said the poverty rate has declined despite the pandemic as the government has intervened and provided support to families.
“In the year of the pandemic, the poverty rate did not remain the same, or increased, but decreased. Due to government interventions, we have reversed the trend, “Abela told party supporters.
“We have spent billions of euros to support our families during the pandemic. We have provided pay supplements, vouchers, postponed the payment of taxation – in addition to our excellent performance in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, ”Abela said.
He also said that the next Budget will not see additional taxes.
“We could have been a government that chose the easy path, but we decided to take a completely different approach and continue to safeguard the quality of life of families,” he said.
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