Over €5.5 million of fines issued by the Planning Authority in Malta and Gozo remain unpaid, new figures have revealed.
Following a parliamentary question by PN MP Joseph Ellis, Planning Minister revealed that while €18,225,828 in fines had been issued between 2010 and 2021, only €12,755,779 had been paid.
The number of fines issued has increased dramatically since 2013, which saw roughly €360,000 worth of fines dished out. That number climbed to a peak of €3,337,945 in 2018 before dropping to €2,186,191 in 2020.
For 2021 so far, €2,191,570 worth of fines have been issued.
The issue of fines has come under the microscope after revelations that Gozitan magnate Joseph Portelli was not issued any fines for illegal works in Qala.
The Planning Authority’s current system in place for fining illegalities allows a 16 day grace period since the commencement of illegal works, where no fines are dished out.
For illegal developments that do not fall either within ODZ, a protected area, an area of archaeological importance, or historical remains, one is only fined the measly amount of €2 daily from the 16th day of the notice until 365 days, only to double to €4 euros after 366 days.
The low costs also raise questions about whether developers are willing to cover the fines in the face of the enormous profits they generate.
A full list of the fines can be found below:
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