Parties must lead by example and pay back taxes, candidates agree


Tista ‘taqra bil-

Departing from the more defensive stance of their respective leaders, Labor candidate Alicia Bugeja Said and city councilor and PN candidate Jerome Caruana Cilia agreed that the two political behemoths should clean up their homes and pay their arrears. ‘taxes.

A recent Times of Malta report showed media on both sides owe € 5million in unpaid VAT, with repayment plans described as unfulfillable. In addition, the two media companies also have other agreements to cover unpaid income taxes and social security contributions which amount to millions of euros, including heavy fines.

Speaking on Andrew Azzopardi’s talk show on 103 Heart of Malta, the two candidates agreed that both sides should pay their dues, with Caruana Cilia saying “both sides should lead by example and pay.”

Bugeja Said agreed to say “no one is above the law” before insolently reminding listeners that PN chief Bernard Grech himself had only settled longstanding tax arrears for a few days. before challenging the party leadership.

Party media owe government millions – Report

In contrast, Prime Minister Robert Abela was evasive when asked about his party’s tax arrears, saying he could only comment on issues since becoming party leader and prime minister in January 2020.

While saying he was unhappy that Labor and PN had “significant” tax arrears, Abela insisted that national insurance, VAT or income tax, are taxes owed. to the state, should be resolved.

PN leader Bernard Grech was just as evasive in refusing to say how much his party owes in unpaid VAT, social security and income tax. Explaining that the arrears went back “several years”, he said the repayment plans were being respected.

The government has created a new precarious class

On the economy, Caruana Cilia – who is Qormi’s local councilor – said that while precarious jobs have been around for a long time and the previous PN government also failed to remedy the situation, policies current labor administration has created a new class of precarious workers.

“The massive influx of foreign workers into some sectors which were already plagued by low wages has rocked the wages of Maltese workers,” he said.

While stressing that foreign workers are frequently exploited by employers, Caruana Cilia said it is a misconception to believe that Maltese workers do not want to work in sectors such as hospitality, healthcare and construction.

“I know young Maltese, who have studied in these fields, who want to work in such sectors, but they will not work for peanuts. Wages are stingy… it is a myth that Maltese workers do not want to work in these sectors, they are hardworking and diligent workers, but they must be offered decent wages. This is the problem we are facing. “

Malta needed manpower during pandemic

When asked why the Labor Party remains so popular, Bugeja Said said Malta could only have weathered the Covid-19 storm with the Labor Party at the helm.

“During the pandemic, many countries were facing an economic crisis, but in Malta we not only had a number of measures and incentives in place to keep the economy afloat, but, as confirmed by Local and foreign institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, whose figures could hardly be questionable, the recovery of our economy is better than expected.

She denied that the Labor Party had strayed from its social democratic roots, listing a number of policies and programs introduced since 2013, including free childcare and increased pensions.

Bugeja Said added that the Labor government was credible in its management of the economy and said this would be confirmed once again in the next budget which will not introduce any new taxes again.

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