Former PN MP Franco Debono has called out Finance Minister Clyde Caruana for “breaking ministerial arrogance records” in light of his recent warning to businesses that the government will clamp down hard on tax avoidance.
“What arrogance. Imagine if he had to spend 20 years as a minister; he wouldn’t see people as flies but rather as bacteria that can only be seen with a microscope,” Debono said on Facebook.
“Give us a break Humpty, you’ve already managed to fight with practically all of your friends in the few days you’ve been around. Maybe the PN had ministers who grew arrogant after 20 years, but Caruana has broken all records – after less than 20 months.”
As a PN MP under the last Nationalist administration, Debono had called out some ministers for their “arrogance”.
This theory – that PN ministers had grown arrogant and detached from the people they represent – has since regularly been cited by PN exponents as a reason behind the collapse in their electoral support.
On Monday, Caruana delivered a stark warning to businesses that the government can no longer tolerate a state of play whereby some of them don’t pay their due taxes and pledged to do his utmost to deliver a “culture change” on tax collection.
He said the government was owed around €5 billion in taxes and that measures will be taken in the coming months to recover tax due, even if it comes at the cost of denting his own political popularity.
“I am not the type to do nothing. For me, politics is not ‘my career’, it is a part of my career, and, that makes all the difference,” he said.
Caruana also insisted that people should expect the government to be efficient in tax collection, just as they expect the best possible standards in education, health and infrastructure.
Cover photo: Left: Franco Debono, Right: Finance Minister Clyde Caruana
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