The government ruling forces have deprived working people of 7.5 billion euros

Article by Christos Christophides, AKEL Nicosia-Kyrenia District Secretary and MP

Wednesday 28 December 2022, “Haravgi” newspaper

The economy exists to serve the people. So the key question is why, at the same time as the government ruling forces are portraying a rosy picture of the economy, citizens themselves are finding it harder than ever to survive in the tide of insecurity and low incomes and pensions.

To put it in simple terms: growth of 5.5 to 6% is being recorded. That is to say, the wealth we all produced together in our country has increased by about 6%. So logically, if an elementary fairness in the distribution of wealth existed, the income of each worker should also logically have increased by 6, 5, 4, or even at least 3%. Instead, what do we observe? From a 56% share of wages in the national income, it has fallen to 46%.

During the same period, income from profits jumped sharply from 45% to 58%. In other words, demonstrably, the many are getting poorer, while a privileged few are getting richer and richer.

The Anastasiades-DISY administration’s decade, with the handlings that have been made, has deprived working people of incomes totaling EUR 7.5 billion. For every year of the Anastasiades-DISY government in 2013-2019, working people lost €750 million annually, while this loss rose to €950 million per year in 2020-2021. In other words, every Cypriot citizen, every household, saw their income decline.

All this is not some metaphysical paradox. It is the result of the political decisions that were pursued by the DISY government. A government that has evidently made the rich richer and the middle strata and the poor poorer. The government ruling force’s celebrations about the economy do not move citizens, who have seen their incomes fall, forced to work longer hours whilst everything is becoming more and more expensive, reducing the market value of their incomes.

We have referred to a tidal wave of insecurity. Compared to August 2021, we have seen 30% increases in housing, water, electricity and LPG, a 19% increase in bread and a 12% increase in milk. This means that the market value of people’s incomes has fallen dramatically.

The government ruling forces are turning a blind eye to the expensiveness/high cost of living that is crushing citizens. Let them give an answer to our young people, working people, pensioners on low pensions: how is it conceivable that even though the government is expected to have increased VAT revenues of up to €1 billion at the end of the year, at the same time Cyprus is 4th from the bottom of the table across EU states in relation to spending to confront the price of food and energy crisis.

Citizens are tormented by poverty because the current government does not want to help them. With another, progressive government we could have a prudent deficit-free economy and at the same time support the incomes of the middle and lower classes.

We all understand that we have paid dearly for the “predatory economy” based on the “get-rich-quick” philosophy and scandals this government has established, the economy of ‘golden passports’, the dismantling of the Co-operative Bank, the loss of millions for the state coffers resulting from the corruption that is pervading our country. The hundreds of millions that certain people/circles have “amassed” could, with an honest government, have been channeled to the benefit of our country and people.

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