Malta’s two main political parties will not be excluded from the government’s drive to enforce tax laws and collect unpaid taxes, Finance Minister Clyde Caruana said this morning.
The minister was speaking after a pre-budget press conference, where he was asked by journalists whether his pledge to clamp down on tax evasion also applied to political parties.
The Times of Malta reported last week that the two parties owed €5 million in unpaid taxes, with both Labour Party leader Robert Abela and PN leader Bernard Grech insisting that payment plans were in place for the dues to be paid.
“I’ve been referring to the clampdown on tax evasion for the past weeks and months and perhaps since my first sitting in Parliament,” Caruana said when asked about tax evasion.
“We need to do this for the benefit of the entire country. As I said, the government will honour its commitment not to increase taxation in this budget or the foreseeable future, because there are enough resources.”
Turning specifically to political party media, Caruana said he would be addressing this in his budget speech.
“I will deliver a message on how we’re going to tackle tax arrears and how we’re going to find a way forward,” Caruana said.
In its pre-budget document, the government has pledged not to introduce any new taxes, with the economy expected to grow by 6.8% – more than any other EU country.
Looking back at the past year, Caruana said Malta had succeeded in weathering the COVID-19 pandemic as a result of the government’s proactive approach, which saw it support struggling businesses in order to prevent massive unemployment.
Unemployment was expected to remain low next year, Caruana said, adding that the country’s deficit would decrease from 12% of GDP to 5.6%.
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