Alfred Sant accuses PN MEPs of hypocrisy: ‘They voted for EU tax harmonisation’

The former prime minister says despite the European Socialists being in favour of tax harmonisation, Labour MEPs have always opposed any such move

Labour MEP Alfred Sant on TVM's Realta
Labour MEP Alfred Sant on TVM's Realta

With the European socialists supporting tax harmonisation across the EU, the Labour Party has always stood as the black sheep of the family.

But now, former prime minister Alfred Sant has accused the three Nationalist Party MEPs of “hypocrisy” after their recent criticism of the PL on the matter.

Sant said on TVM’s Realta on Monday that David Casa, Roberta Metsola and Francis Zammit Dimech had voted in favour of a resolution in the European Parliament’s TAXE committee that called for EU taxation policy not to be determined by unanimity.

“This paves the way for tax harmonisation in the EU, which goes against the interests of Malta,” Sant said of the vote held on 13 December 2017.

The Labour MEP and fellow PL candidate Noel Cassar were in a debate with Zammit Dimech and PN candidate Peter Agius.

All three Labour MEPs voted against this resolution despite the European socialists being in favour of tax harmonisation.

“It’s a fact that the European Socialists and a substantial number of MEPs from the European People’s Party agree on tax harmonisation. But the PN MEPs gave their consent to tax harmonisation when voting on this particular resolution. There were a handful of EPP MEPS including the Cypriot Lefteris Christoforu that voted against and Brian Hayes, former Irish foreign Minister, who abstained. The Maltese Labour delegation including myself, Miriam Dalli and Marlene Mizzi voted against,” Sant said.

The PN was recently quick to pounce on the appearance of the socialist’s lead candidate for the European election Frans Timmermans at the PL’s mass meeting on 1 May.

The PN criticised the PL for supporting a candidate who had on his agenda tax harmonisation across the EU.

Malta has always opposed the harmonisation of company taxes in the EU. Taxation matters can only be determined at an EU level by unanimity and Malta has resisted moves to change this.

Sant accused the PN MEPs of hypocrisy on the matter. “Frankly, this political hypocrisy annoys me. The PN can’t say the European Socialists favour tax harmonisation while its MEPs vote in favour. The Labour MEPs stood strong on this point and said ‘No’.”