Labour party financing return reveals backing of high-rise developers

Labour’s €630,000 includes €80,000 from businesses, PN says over €927,000 came from small donations of less than €50

Cash for concrete: Labour was the only party to have declared donations of over €7,000 from the buildling industry
Cash for concrete: Labour was the only party to have declared donations of over €7,000 from the buildling industry

Labour’s first ever donation report to the Electoral Commission under party financing rules shows that its highest individual donors in 2016 include the construction company GAP Holdings, Attard Bros, Hal Mann, as well as the operator of the Pit Stop fuel station in Attard.

At just over €630,000, Labour’s donations in the main consisted of €370,000 gathered during political manifestations and fund-raisers in donations of under €50.

In total it collected €93,000 in donations of over €7,000, which requires identification of the individual donor under party financing rules.

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These donors comprised Attard Bros and Eurocraft (€10,000 each), €20,000 from Sea View & Sons, which operate the Pit Stop fuel station, €10,000 from Camland – of developer Charles Camilleri, who is behind a high-rise proposal for the former Jerma hotel – GAP Holdings, Hal Mann, and BV Formosa, and €13,000 from the Marsaxlokk Labour Party club.

GAP Holdings is planning a 40-storey tower hotel on the former Holiday Inn hotel it acquired through the Fort Cambridge development brief.

Another €154,000 were collected in donations exceeding €500, but not more than €7,000 – a total of 77 donors; while €21,000 was collected from 135 donors in donations not exceeding €500.

On the other hand, the Nationalist Party collected a total of €1.17 million – of which €927,000 were in donations of less than €50. A single donation of €18,000 came from Nationalist MP Anthony Abela, who will not be running in the 2017 elections.

The total number of donors was not declared by the PN.

The party also operates a controversial loan scheme that while allowing anonymity to its donors, who are effectively party creditors, still falls out of party financing rules. The PN has said it has collected €3 million in loans.

The Partit Demokratiku received a total of €7,206 in donations in 2016, while Alternattiva Demokratika received a total of €1,257 and far-rught Moviment Patriotti Maltin received a total of €2,521 in donations.

While the returns are for 2016, Labour this week collected over €650,000 in a day's fund-raiser.

The Labour Party has also demanded that the Electoral Commission investigates payments from the db Group to the PN’s commercial arm Media.Link, which money was used to finance top party officials’ salaries. The Green Party, Alternattiva Demokatika, has also filed a complaint on Labour’s use of the Prime Minister’s summer residence in Girgenti, for parliamentary group meetings.