Malta taxation debate reduced to political football, Chamber of Commerce says

The Chamber of Commerce said that it was ‘disappointed’ by the current electoral campaigns leading up to the EP and local council elections, claiming that Malta’s fiscal structures were serious business

The Chamber of Commerce said it was 'disappointed' by the way the electoral campaigns were being conducted, that rather than tackling serious issues, they had reduced debates to a 'game'
The Chamber of Commerce said it was 'disappointed' by the way the electoral campaigns were being conducted, that rather than tackling serious issues, they had reduced debates to a 'game'

The Chamber of Commerce said that both political parties had given in to the temptation of “rendering the debate on serious matters as a game of political football" especially when it comes to Malta's taxation system which, the Chamber said, was at risk.

It said in a statement on Tuesday that Malta’s fiscal structures were at risk and yet, political parties were not committing either time or earnestness to the issue.

“The Malta Chamber is disappointed by the manner in which the current electoral campaign is developing… the forthcoming election is about selecting our best ambassadors to the European Parliament… in a globally-connected scenario, the world is watching,” the Chamber said, adding that anything Malta does would raise the country’s profile.

Instead of debating Malta’s current fiscal structures being put at risk and speaking about the importance of Malta’s fight to keep its own taxation system, the Chamber said that the electoral campaigns were undermining this “sensitive topic”, a topic that should be treated with “deserved caution.”

The statement said that the Chamber had previously sounded these warnings and that they had not been taken seriously.

“Unfortunately it seems that the Chamber’s warnings have fallen on deaf ears. The threat of Malta’s current fiscal structures being put at risk ought to be debated in a way that explains to the electorate how crucial it is that Malta maintains its current prerogative to design and determine its own taxation system and use it to attract investment in the light of its inherent limitations,” the statement read.

The Chamber called for unity on this aspect especially when Malta was facing international pressures on its financial regulatory framework.
"Malta’s needs are different to those countries and regions in the centre of Europe. Rather than for the principal aim of collecting revenue, Malta uses its fiscal structure as a necessary and legitimate tool to stimulate growth and overcome the island’s permanent natural disadvantages such as smallness and peripherality,” the Chamber said.

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