The Malta Independent 5 December 2023, Tuesday
View E-Paper

Chamber of Commerce calls for stop to summer half-days, no tax on COLA

Sabrina Zammit Tuesday, 26 September 2023, 14:45 Last update: about 3 months ago

The Malta Chamber of Commerce is proposing an end to summer half days for government workers and to have no tax on the cost of living adjustment.

In presenting its pre-budget document, CEO Marthese Portelli said that it does not make sense that businesses operating from morning till late in the evening are attended to by government entities operating till 12pm.


The document contains over 250 proposals, Portelli said. One other proposal is not to have the COLA taxed. It is expected that this year COLA will reach €13 per week as a result of the high inflation that Malta experienced all throughout 2023.

She said that as times are changing, the businesses need to shift their focus from the current labour based, to a more employee friendly one, which promotes the quality of life and decreases stress.

Portelli said that to push all entities to act now is “a big challenge” however concerned entities need to “start taking decisions… meaning bold and unpopular decisions”.

The proposals centre around promoting environmentally friendly business initiatives, accountability and transparency towards the growth of the economy.

The chamber also has proposals about the infrastructure, mobility, traffic congestion, waste management, utilities, connectivity (land, sea and air) and digitalisation.

In promoting the public to use more environmentally friendly transport options, the Chamber wants the government to introduce what is known as an e-mobility wallet, where credit incentivised street level parking will be refunded to be used on other transport methods.

On the same topic, vehicle road licence and insurance cost should reflect the usage of the vehicle instead of a one round figure.

On waste management, Portelli said that the country should adopt a pre-paid bag approach. Moreover, it suggested that there should be more portable water fountains around the country as this would drastically decrease the number of bottles that are discarded.

The Chamber is also advocating for the liberalisation of the energy distribution network and for the reduction of taxes on bought property which goes beyond the minimal threshold of qualifying energy efficiency.

Delving into needed reforms, referring to the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) , the Chamber said that it should not be taxed, and that revisiting the current tax bands will will ensure a fairer approach towards people who could really benefit from it.

She said that in reaction to the COLA set to increase by €13 per week, it is important to better the purchasing power of lower income households.

The Chamber also said that there should be an independent audit on the roles and responsabilities of anyone working within the public sector, in order to idneitify human resources hours wasted and how they can be better allocated.

Portelli also listed a number of sectors which could be beneficial for the economy, if tackled correctly.

Apart from the already established manufacturing and tourism industry, such sectors are yachting, aviation, virtual assets care homes and retail.

  • don't miss