Adrian Delia netted €153,000 in professional fees in 2016

The PN's new leader Adrian Delia is facing a shortfall of €100,000 with his salary as Opposition leader after waving goodbye to his lucrative legal career

Opposition leader Adrian Delia earned €153,101 last year, according to income tax records provided by the Inland Revenue Department to the Speaker of the House.

The Nationalist Party leader claimed expenses totalling €34,688, to end up with a net profit of €118,413. The income came solely from his profession as a lawyer.

Delia’s wife, Nickie Vella De Fremeaux declared an income of €12,660.

The tax assessment was obtained on the basis of a legal provision that allows editors to ask for the income tax returns of members of parliament. The request was filed with the Speaker of the House when Delia was sworn in as an MP.

This newspaper received a statement of declared income, which, however, does not specify the amount of tax paid.

Delia had failed to submit his income tax returns when asked by the media to do so during the Nationalist Party leadership campaign when questions were raised about his ability to finance his personal debts on the salary of Opposition leader.

Delia had admitted having debts of €728,000 during the campaign, leaving open the question as to how he could finance the repayments on an annual salary of €43,000 – the amount due to him as Opposition leader.

The PN leader had insisted he had a financial plan drawn up by his advisors to manage his family’s finances but had also not ruled out taking a salary from the party as well.

Delia’s predecessor had refused a salary from the party, relying only on his parliamentary honorarium as Opposition leader.

In an interview with LovinMalta, Delia had insisted there was “nothing at all untoward about someone receiving a salary for a full-time job” when asked whether he would be paid by the PN for his leadership role.

The statement had raised concern within the party that is reeling under debts of €25 million.

It is unclear whether Delia has started to receive a salary from the party and if so, how much. The income declaration shows a disparity of more than €100,000 between what Delia earned last year and what he is expected to receive now in his new role as Opposition leader.

Delia had promised to shed all business interests if elected PN leader, a process he said would take a few months to complete.