The Malta Independent 14 October 2019, Monday

Entire Cabinet takes home €7,000 annual allowance instead of being given second cars

Kevin Schembri Orland Sunday, 28 February 2016, 10:30 Last update: about 5 years ago

Each and every Minister and Parliamentary Secretary, with the exception of the Prime Minister, has opted for a €7,000 allowance instead of being given a second car, this newsroom is informed through a set of Freedom of Information requests.

Together, Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries will have received €770,000 by the end of their term in car allowances. 

This number excludes the €7,000 yearly annual allowance the Prime Minister receives for the use of his primary vehicle. Adding the Prime Minister’s allowance to the equation brings the total cost up to over €800,000 for the legislature.

Second cars and the €7,000 allowance has been the subject of hot debate in Malta. A policy introduced on 27 June 2008 gave Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries the option to choose between being allotted a second car for their personal use or taking a €7,000 yearly payment for using their personal vehicle as their second car.

One peculiar case, however, has been that of the Prime Minister. A previous FOI request by this newsroom had received the following response: “In the Prime Minister’s case, what counted as his second car was turned into his official car. Maintenance costs and licence fees are paid for by the Prime Minister and not the government.”

The same FOI request also revealed that the car used by former Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi during the last legislature had been purchased for €55,165, and maintenance costs had totalled €32,539.

The Prime Minister will net €35,000 over five years for the use of his Alfa 159, as well as having the use of a second fullyexpenses paid vehicle, which is mainly used by his wife Michelle.

A spokesman from the Office of the Prime Minister said recently that a number of former PN Cabinet members had made use of second cars.

Such amounts being paid out to Ministers for second cars and the optional €7,000 allowance, begs the question as to whether Cabinet members really need to be allotted a second car – especially considering that the country’s minimum wage of €8,700 a year is only marginally less than the €7,000 annual perk.

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