Sometimes, Charles Miceli has to answer the toughest phonecalls at the oddest times of the day.

Recently, a man called him in a state of desperation, saying he had fallen back on his rent payments, that he was about to be sacked as a waiter... and that he had no choice but to take his life.

Fearing the worst, Mr Miceli rushed to meet the man before he found out the victim had checked himself into a mental hospital.

“There's the stark reality of people whose stories are not known, people who have nothing to eat, suffering from mental problems,” said the Anti-Poverty Alliance chairman.

Mr Miceli recalls the harsh reality faced by the estimated 70,000 who were living on a minimum wage or less. The wealth being generated by the economy was not being spread equally and the rich were getting richer, while the poor were getting poorer.

He urged the political party diehards to understand that the fight against poverty had no political hues and that it was the system that was failing.

Mr Miceli called for the regularisation of rent prices and an increase in the minimum wage, and insisted that cheap labour and precarious work was prevalent in Malta. He also criticised a system which still seems bent on making criminals out of vulnerable people.

"I have no problem being a voice in the wilderness. If the parties choose to remain silent, I will continue speaking out."

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