Thake suspends himself from PN parliamentary group pending Standards investigation he requested

Nationalist MP whose companies are in VAT arrears requested ethics investigation, suspends himself until finalisation of investigation

PN MP David Thake
PN MP David Thake

The Nationalist MP David Thake has suspended himself from the PN parliamentary group after requesting that the Commissioner for Standards in Public Life investigate any ethics breach resulting from his two business companies being in arrears for VAT.

“I do not want the dishonest few like Robert Abela to use me to try and hide the work being done by our leader Bernard Grech and our united parliamentary group,” Thake said on Facebook on Sunday afternoon.

Thake said he would also he would also be resigning from the Opposition’s shadow cabinet.

He requested the investigation after initial reports last week that his telecoms company Vanilla owed over €270,000 in VAT.

MaltaToday also revealed his other company Maltashopper Ltd has some €550,000 in VAT arrears and had never filed a set of annual accounts with the MFSA since its incorporation in 2011.

The MP acknowledged his “shortcomings”, but found issue with the PM calling him a “tax evader”. He said any amounts owed to the VAT department were COVID-scheme deferred and accumulated during the past two years.

“I will not allow anyone to lie about me. He called me a tax evader, and claimed my company did not pay VAT in time. My company was making use of a scheme rolled out by government,” Thake said.

He also said there were “humane reasons” for the VATY dues, and is prepared to pay any fines which need to be paid.

“It is clear that government is using the civil service to rid persons Robert Abela is not comfortable with,” Thake said

The PN MP also challenged Abela to “appear in front of journalists” with their tax returns.

“He will not do that, because he fears he has unexplained wealth,” Thake said.

Thake was elected a Nationalist MP in a casual election in 2020.

Thake's business affairs predate his parliamentary election, and he has already a repayment programme with the VAT department on a portion of his arrears.