The Malta Independent 18 September 2019, Wednesday

Josianne Cutajar declared highest expenditure in MEP election campaign

Kevin Schembri Orland Thursday, 11 July 2019, 09:48 Last update: about 3 months ago

PL MEP Josianne Cutajar was the candidate with the highest expenditure for the 2019 MEP elections, candidate declaration forms reveal, having declared €47,042 as her expenditure.

The Electoral Commission has recently released the MEP candidates’ declaration forms, making them available for public viewing.

The candidates with the highest total declared expenditure were Josianne Cutajar, David Casa (€44,653.89) and Cyrus Engerer (€44,397.51).  The candidate with the lowest declared expenditure was Cami Appelgren, declaring €0 spent.

None of the candidates declared an expenditure higher than is allowed by law. The law reads that no sum shall be paid and no expense shall be incurred by a candidate in excess of €50,000.

 Out of the 41 candidates, 39 declarations were available for public viewing. The other two candidates, PD’s Anthony Buttigieg and Brain Not Ego’s Antoine Borg failed to conclude the process in time. It should be noted that Buttigieg did submit the declaration, however it was not a sworn statement in front of the notary as he was unable to do so given that the was sick, an Electoral Commission official told this newsroom. The law, a Commission official said, allows the authorities to take action against those who did not submit their declarations in time, should they wish.

In their declaration form, candidates submitted their income received from persons, clubs, societies and associations (under a section called receipts). In terms of ‘receipts’, candidates were to list from whom any money, security, or equivalent of money was received, in respect of expenses incurred on account of or in connection with or incidental to the election, and the amount received from each person, club, society or association separately.

In terms of expenditure, the law states “All  expenses  incurred  in  connection  with  the  candidature whether paid by the candidate, his election agent or any other persons, or remaining unpaid on the date of the return, are to be set out.”

The EU Parliamentary elections saw six candidates elected, four from the PL and two from the PN.

Miriam Dalli declared receiving €3,800, which came directly from three individuals. In terms of expenses, she spent a total of €26,463.20 on her campaign. Of this amount, €120 was listed as travelling expenses, €1,334.50 was spent on printing, €14,172.31 on advertising, €149.86 on stationary, €240.70 on postage, €73.20 on telegrams and SMS’s, and €3,600 on hire costs. €6,772.63 is listed under ‘other miscellaneous expenses paid or incurred’.

Alfred Sant declared that he did not receive any income from persons, clubs, societies or associations. In terms of expenses, Sant declared a total expenditure of €17,736. Of this amount, €2,714 was spent on printing, €8,112 was spent on advertising, €1,000 on stationary, €1,180 on hire costs and €4,730 is listed as other miscellaneous expenditure.

Josianne Cutajar declared that she did not receive any income from persons, clubs, societies or associations. In total, she spent €47,042.59 . Of this amount, €290 was spent on travelling expenses, €7087.50 on printing, €30,528 on advertising, €17.64 on stationary, €4,812.98 on postage, €4,216 on hire costs and €90 on other miscellaneous expenses.

Alexander Agius Saliba declared that he received no income from persons, clubs, societies or associations. In terms on expenses, he spent a total of €38,182.54. Of this amount, €5,355 was spent on printing, €9,277.38 on advertising, €3,911.16 on postage and €19,639 on hire costs.

Roberta Metsola declared receiving €1,912 from a coffee morning organised by The Friends of Roberta Metsola. In terms of expenditure, she spent a total of €37, 438 on her campaign. Of this amount, €5,900 was spent on printing, €7,758 on advertising, €4,059 on postage and €3,802 on hire costs. She also lists €15,419 under ‘other miscellaneous expenses paid or incurred,’ and €500 under ‘personal expenses incurred or paid by the candidate or agent’.

David Casa declared receiving €5,200 in total from coffee mornings. In terms of expenses, he listed as having incurred €44,653.89 in total expenses. Of this amount, €10,525 was spent on printing, €15.393.29 on advertising, €1,750 on postage, €11,535.60 on telegrams and €5,450 on other miscellaneous expenses.

A few candidates had organised some activities prior to the election which drew certain public scrutiny. Two such candidates were PL’s Joe Sammut and Lorna Vassallo.

Sammut had reportedly advertised a raffle on social media for a Fiat Panda. Joe Sammut, contacted by this newsroom, said the Fiat Panda Raffle was declared in the receipts section and indicated that the amount was equivalent to €5,000. His declaration also read, separately, that he received €23,000 in funds, security or equivalent of money from an entity called MMG. He refused to give any details as to what this entity is when contacted. In total, he listed €32,300 in terms of receipts, and just €6,547 in terms of expenditure. He was not the only candidate to declare more receipts than expenditure. Felix Galea Busuttil declared €6,438.46 in receipts and €1,340 in expenditure, Norman Lowell declared €2,381.82 in receipts and €1,113.38 in expenditure. This newsroom was told by a Commission Official however that candidates did not need to submit receipts.

Lorna Vassallo had reportedly organised a lottery for more than €5,000 worth of prizes up for grabs, with one such prize being a seven-day trip to Dubai. Contacted by this newsroom about the raffle, and in particular the trip, she highlighted that she declared the cost amount under “other miscellaneous expenses paid or incurred,” and said that the cost was around €1,500. She said that her sponsor had given her a special price for this, and the actual package is worth more than she was charged. She explained that she paid €750 prior to the election, with the rest to be paid after, even though the company that supplied the package were telling her to pay the whole amount after the election and nothing before, she said. She explained that whatever a candidate uses in the last 6 weeks prior to an election needs to be declared, even if they were paid for months earlier. She said she declared everything she used during the last six weeks.

 

PL

Josianne Cutajar -       € 47,042.59

Cyrus Engerer - € 44,397.51

Alexander Agius Saliba - € 38,182.54

James Grech - € 27,054

Miriam Dalli - € 26,463.20

Alfred Sant - € 17,736

Robert Micallef - € 16,118.67

Joseph Sammut - € 6,547

Lorna Vassallo - € 5,081.56

Josef Caruana - € 3,131.74

Mary Gauci - € 2,520

Noel Cassar - € 1,730.33

Felix Galea Busuttil - € 1,340

Fleur Vella - € 701.99

PN

David Casa - € 44,653.89

Francis Zammit Dimech - € 38,579.00

Roberta Metsola - €37, 438

Frank Psaila - € 15,716

Roselyn Borg Knight - € 12,308.42

Dione Borg - € 12,275

Peter Agius – € 10,093.20

Michael Mercieca – € 9,291.12

David Stellini - € 7,265.55

Michael Briguglio - € 2,426

PD

Martin Cauchi Inglott - €1,420.13

Godfrey Farrugia - €850

Camilla Appelgren – €0

AD

Mina Tolu - €3,621.66

Carmel Cacopardo - €157.10 

AB

Ivan Grech Mintoff – €1,808.68

Rebecca Dalli Gonzi - €326.01

Moviment Patrijotti Maltin

Simon Borg - €90

Naged Megally - €90

Imperium Europa

Norman Lowell - €1,113.38

Independent

Nazzareno Bonnici – €1,650

Arnold Cassola - €1,016.43

Stephen Florian - €866.14

Mario Borg - €97

Joseph Aquilina - €41.30

 

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