Importers who raised their prices when shipping costs soared have a responsibility to bring prices back down as costs decrease, Labour MP Carmelo Abela told parliament on Wednesday.

Speaking during the adjournment, the former minister insisted that tackling inflation was not solely the responsibility of the government.

“We need to find common ground, just as members of the commercial community give us suggestions on how we can improve as a government, they should also see how they too can act to control prices.”

Abela said the Russian invasion of Ukraine had had a global impact, with energy prices and inflation in general soaring. 

“Of course, the Maltese government has worked hard to cap energy prices, and my appeal is for those in charge of containers and shipping to also reflect on their prices,” he said.

Major media outlets reported recently that international shipping costs have fallen after having soared during COVID-19 and when Russia invaded Ukraine. Costs have also fallen as world economies slow.   

“When shipping prices increase, the price of the product they are shipping increases also. But when prices drop, this drop should also reflect on the price of the product,” Abela insisted. 

'Drastic measures' to address traffic issues

Reflecting on the President's Republic Day speech, Abela said there may be a time when Malta will have to take "drastic measures" to address its traffic congestion problem.

"The size of the country is what it is, and we know that the number of cars on our roads is increasing every day," he said.

"One day the time will come when we have to take on these drastic measures."

He did not say what the measures should be on what the measures would be. .

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