30.6 per cent of the population cannot afford to pay for a one-week annual holiday away from home, according to the European Statistics on Income and Living Conditions Survey (EU-SILC).
Furthermore, 13.9 per cent said that their household would not be able to settle an unexpected financial expense of €675 and over, while 8.1 per cent of the respondents said that their household had been in arrears on mortgage or rent payments, utility bills, hire purchase instalments or other loan payments.
On the other hand, the number of persons who said that their household could not afford to own a washing machine, colour TV or telephone (including mobile phone) was negligible.
The SILC survey is carried out every year by the National Statistics Office (NSO).
In 2018, it found that the material deprivation rate in Malta stood at 8.7 per cent, whereas the severe material deprivation rate stood at 3 per cent. Compared to 2017, these rates increased by 0.7 per cent for the material deprivation.
However, rates for severe material deprivation decreased by 0.3 per cent, marking a slight improvement.
To define material deprivation, respondents were asked nine questions, including whether they had the ability to face unexpected financial expenses, pay for a week’s holiday away from home, pay their bills on time, have a meal with protein at least every other day, and own appliances and a car.
People living in households where they could not afford at least three of the nine items were considered to be materially deprived, while those who could not afford at least four were considered to be severely materially deprived.