The Malta Independent 15 August 2020, Saturday

Tax justice

Alfred Sant MEP Thursday, 9 July 2020, 07:00 Last update: about 2 months ago

Substantial lobbies in Europe – and not just on the left – consider that the time has come to reinforce the appeals in favour of tax justice in terms of the structures set for taxation and how it gets collected.

It is hardly possible to contest these appeals, especially when they are linked to the call to eradicate money laundering and all that allows individuals and firms to avoid paying their due taxes. The pressure for a greater tax “justice” however frequently places those of us who come from Malta in a delicate situation.  

ADVERTISEMENT

Its leading proponents believe that as much as possible, there should be no “competition” between member countries of the EU regarding the taxation they should charge. They feel that there should be one minimum level of taxation on profits and income applied across the Union. They agree that everywhere, there should be the same manner by which to estimate tax dues and the same procedures by which to charge them. They would like to introduce a flat tax on each and every financial transaction...

All such measures would be to the detriment of the financial services sector, which has a strong presence in Malta. But when we come out against the proposals being made, people are made to feel like we do not really care about the need to implement tax justice.     

***

COMPETITIVE POLITICS

Politics are competitive worldwide, and where they were otherwise or where politics stopped being competitive, democracy lost steam. Often the zero sum game that they imply promotes trouble: victory for one side must necessarily happen at the expense of the other side.

We can surely not deny that Maltese politics is most competitive. Defeat and victory are much harsher experiences than in other political scenarios since the contest always shapes up between two parties.

Which creates the expectation that explosive developments are likely. And that there will be occasions when one side or the other, as well as their members, will be hugely badmouthing each other. Social media give their contribution to increase ensuing tensions.

Up to now though, all this remained well bounded. However, it seems like during the last few months, there has been too strong an increase in personal and vicious hatred shown upfront by some political frontliners and their followers. It’s disquieting.

***

RETAIL

In March, retail sales in Malta decreased volume-wise by 1.3 per cent compared to the previous month. It was much less than the outcome in the eurozone as a whole, where the decline was of 10.6 per cent.

In April, when the eurozone experienced a drop of 12.1 per cent, in Malta the decrease was much greater: 24.3 per cent. Over two months, it exceeded that of the eurozone.

We had reviewed the point in this blog.

Now for May, the eurozone has registered a rise in retail sales of 17.8 per cent; in Malta, the rise was of 11.4 per cent. One would expect that for June, the increase in Malta should exceed that of the rest of the eurozone. And the question then will be: will the growth in retail sales for the whole of two months, May and June, for Malta be greater or smaller than for the eurozone?

 

  • don't miss