They make it sound like a country’s economy works in the same way as a household economy

Published: July 7, 2017 at 2:29pm

What a shame economics is not a mandatory part of the school curriculum. Then everybody would know that the economy of a country is not like the economy of a household.

In other words, there is no ‘up and up and up and up’. There is only a cycle of boom and bust, with the seeds of the bust inevitably sown at the start of the boom. Sometimes we are lucky and the bust is just a mild recession confined to one country. And sometimes we are unlucky and the bust is a crisis which triggers full-blown recession which spreads across continents – though, of course, not from Malta.

When Malta’s economy goes bust, or slows into recession – which is a matter of when and not if, because it’s not called ‘the economic cycle’ for nothing – we will suffer alone on our two small pieces of rock.

So now the National Statistics Office has been turned into another branch of the government’s Department of Information, issuing government propaganda in partisan language.

No wonder they forcibly removed Michael Pace Ross, the National Statistics Office chief, just 20 months into their stint at world domination, back in late 2014. He wouldn’t play ball.

Mr Pace Ross certainly would not have played ball on this matter. It’s a shame the press isn’t doing its job properly instead of just reproducing state propaganda verbatim. The National Statistics Office press release, which has been reproduced by the newspapers, was published earlier today on its web portal. And if you go to that source you will see that rather than covering the ‘first quarter’ of the year, as suggested, it covers the period 1 January to 31 May, and the statement’s tagline is actually: “In January-May 2017, Government’s Consolidated Fund registered a deficit of €2.6 million”.

But – and here is where the press should be doing its job – if you go back to April you will find that the ‘first quarter’ statistics had already been published by the NSO back then, but they showed a deficit and not a surplus. and now in order to achieve ESA 2010 compliance they have been reworked and show a surplus.

The Introduction of the European system of national and regional accounts (ESA 2010) changed the way EU member states are obliged to treat their accounts. So you have to wonder what exactly is going on here.

If Frank Lucas ran Malta, we’d have a surplus too. And something tells me that the main reason this government doesn’t change the law and enter the heroin trade has nothing to do with morality and everything to do with the backlash in Europe and the collapse of its support base back home.