Budget 2022: PN proposes fine-tuning of tax bracket system

The PN has proposed a 'long overdue' revision of the COLA mechanism and the minimum wage

Michael Piccinino (left), Bernard Grech (middle) and Mario De Marco (right)
Michael Piccinino (left), Bernard Grech (middle) and Mario De Marco (right)

The PN said a fine-tuning of the tax bracket system would incentivise more work, especially on a part-time basis, and less tax avoidance.

In a presentation its Budget 2022 proposals, the Opposition also called for a “long overdue” revision of the Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) mechanism and the minimum wage.

PN leader Bernard Grech said Malta was dealing with a substantial fiscal deficit of around €1 to €1.5 billion, acknowledging the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic but also the inefficiency of public procurement, citing the spend on the Vitals hospitals concession and the Electrogas energy prices.

Shadow finance minister Mario de Marco said the government must also address the lack of Maltese nationals in tourism jobs, saying the island remains heavily dependent on tourism, which took a downturn under the global lockdown.

He expressed disappointment that the PN’s offer to initiate a task force with the governmnet in search of a joint solution to Malta’s greylisting by the FATF, was not taken up.

The PN is also proposing more tools to combat tax avoidance, and setting up a public register of government lobbying and a new code of ethics.

De Marco also called for a study on the impact that potential corporate tax harmonisation would have on Malta.

He said that although Malta’s low unemployment rate was positive, Malta still ranks last within the EU when it comes to early school leavers.

De Marco criticised the government’s approach to the public service, saying the current engagement of around 50,000 workers was unsustainable. But he also said the PN wants national infrastructure projects to utilise a foreign workforce in a more intelligent way.

The full document is available online.