As the world rebounds from the harsh impacts of the restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, many are now experiencing higher costs when compared to pre-pandemic levels. Many, naturally tend to express their surprise as following a period of economic contraction, very few would have expected soaring prices. This notion of inflation is common through several countries globally and is not solely an issue for Malta. In this article, we shall be discussing some of the outcomes that may arise if this continued inflation is not contained.
The rising costs of daily living may be absorbed by those who enjoy a solid and healthy income, however are likely to impact the most who are already struggling as it is. Those who are not in a position to improve their income to keep up with the costs of inflation run the risk of ending up in poverty. Those who are already within this category will face even more hardships as access to accommodation and healthy nourishment become less accessible. This in turn brings about a weaker society whereby an increasing number of individuals may face both physical and mental health issues.
A struggling middle class
Prior to the pandemic, it was well-known that Malta’s middle class could enjoy a certain quality of life. This was due to the fact that there were several opportunities for employment, numerous avenues to make income and a thriving economy backed by strong pillars. In view of the current uncertainty and costs still increasing, people who are categorised in the middle class may experience a declining quality of life, creating dissatisfaction and lack of motivation. When costs are high, and medium income families struggle to keep up, society would end up essentially being divided between the rich and poor. This would be a disappointing development in view that significant efforts were made to create a healthy middle class in Malta over the past years.
Changes in lifestyle patterns
By their nature, humans are species that can adapt. If the costs continue to rise at this pace, many would need to change their lifestyle patterns and what they were accustomed to. It is quite commonplace to see people spending money in places of entertainment. If costs continue to increase, many may no longer be in a position to spend as much, seeking other sources to wind down, which are less expensive.
Time will tell where the impacts of this continued increase in cost of living will lead to.