Pandemic has deepened existing inequalities

While the official estimate that real GDP contracted by just over 5 per cent in 2020 is highly contentious, there is no denying that income inequalities and the lack of decent employment opportunities in Cyprus continue to mount. In spite of the economic damage wrought by Covid-19 in exposing and exacerbating existing inequalities the virus cannot be blamed for the disparities relating to income, wealth and job opportunities that prevailed in the years preceding the pandemic.

Although the government has made good efforts to assist suffering households and struggling businesses adversely affected by the ongoing health and economic crises there is a compelling need to address the main factors that are responsible for the pre-Covid-19 inequalities as these disparities could become entrenched once the pandemic abates. Indeed, many businesses and employees in the private sector could continue to experience stagnant and even declining incomes further increasing the large gap between the compensation of public and private sector employees.

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