Malta u l-politika

Ittri ċċensurati u punti ta' riflessjoni politika.

 

 

 

 

Wiehed mill-aktar oqsma importanti fil-politika Maltija huwa minghajr dubju l-ekonomija u timxi pass pass maghha hemm il-kwistjoni tat-taxxi. Suppost f’pajjiz civilizzat u demokratiku t-taxxi jithallsu u l-beneficcji minnhom jinfirxu b’mod gust minghajr diskriminazzjoni u tbatija zejda.  F’dan il-qasam il-Partit Nazzjonalista huwa partit li ma tehodlux kopja. Daqqa jghid mod u daqqa jghid mod iehor. Qabel elezzjoni jwieghed mod u kif jahtaf il-poter jaghmel bil-maqlub. Ezempji ta’ dan ghandna kemm irridu. Minhabba f’hekk il-PN huwa partit perikoluz ghax ma tistax tghid x’ser jivvinta, minhabba li vizjoni fiskali m’ghandux jew jekk ghandu jharbatha hu stess kif jaqbillu. Meta l-politika tigi mibdula minn mument ghall-iehor biex tissodisfa l-politikanti, kemm in-negozjanti kif ukoll l-investituri ma taghtihomx tort li jibqghu lura fl-operat taghhom. Il-haddiem bil-paga wkoll ma jistax jifhem kif ghad ikun fil-gejjieni qrib ghax ma jistax ibassar x’ser jivvinta l-Gvern Nazzjonalista biex jehodlu aktar mill-flus li jaqla. Apparti l-gholi tal-hajja li qed tirrovina hafna familji Maltin, il-haddiem gie msawwat b’taxxi li ma gewx mweghda lilu anzi bil-maqlub meta kien imwieghed li t-taxxi ma jizdiedux . . .sar il-kontra u t-taxxi zdiedu. L-anqas fi hdan il-PN stess ma hemm qbil dwar x’ghandu jsir, kulhadd ifajjar kif jaqbillu. Hemm nuqqas ta’ qbil enormi fuq dan is-suggett, l-aktar minhabba l-weghdi Nazzjonalisti li l-PN stess kiser.

 

Jekk wiehed jara x’sar taht Gvern Nazzjonalista fejn jidhlu t-taxxi mill-1987 l’hawn isib hekk:

 

Il-VAT

 

Minghajr l-ebda dubju l-aktar taxxa Nazzjonalista li holqot ferment shih u tbatija fil-pajjiz kienet il-VAT. Il-hsara li saret kienet kbira hafna. Hafna aktar milli n-Nazzjonalisti lesti li jammettu. Halli nimxu pass pass mal-istorja ricenti.

 

Meta l-Gvern Nazzjonalista gie biex idahhal il-VAT qalulna ruxmata gideb. Hadd m’ghandu jiehu ghalih bil-kelma “gideb” imma hekk gara. Il-qofol ta’ kollox kienet il-kwistjoni jekk il-VAT tghollix il-hajja jew le. John Dalli kien car fi kliemu. F’The Times tal-5 ta’ Dicembru tal-1993 qal, “CONSUMER PRICES WILL NOT GO UP WITH THE INTRODUCTION OF VAT”. L-esperjenza u l-fatti wrewna li John Dalli jew tawh informazzjoni hazina, jew gideb ghax kien jaf li mhux vera dak li qal, inkella ghamel il-homework hazin. Ghazlu liema tridu, kull ghazla pero tfisser li Dalli kellu jitnehha minn ministru ghax hu jiehu r-responsabilta tad-dhul tal-VAT u t-tbatijiet li gabet maghha din it-taxxa.

 

Ftit xhur wara li Dalli qal li l-VAT mhux ser tgholli l-hajja, Josef Bonnici fin-Nazzjon qal, “JEKK IKUN HEMM ZIEDA FL-GHOLI TAL-HAJJA (BL-INTRODUZZJONI  TAL-VAT)...” Mela bdejna bit-tahwid. L-ewwel il-VAT mhux ser tgholli l-hajja imbaghad “jekk” il-VAT tgholli l-hajja.

 

Josef Bonnici ikkonferma fl-istess gazzetta li, “HU MINNU LI HAFNA MIS-SERVIZZI LI LLUM HUMA EZENTATI MIT-TAXXA SE JKUNU NKLUZI.”

 

Eddie Fenech Adami wkoll beda jhawwad fil-borma. F’Marzu tal-1994 f’The Times qrajna li qal hekk fuq il-VAT, “AND ALTHOUGH IT COULD RAISE THE COST OF LIVING…” M’ghadux kaz li bil-VAT ma tgholix il-hajja.

 

Imma John Dalli baqa jinsisti. Webbes rasu u rega qalilna, “THE PURCHASING POWER OF THE AVERAGE WAGE EARNER AND PENSIONERS WILL NOT BE ADVERSELY EFFECTED BY VAT” – dan f’Marzu tal-1994. Ovjament gidba hoxna li ghixniha lkoll kemm ahna meta rajna l-prezzijiet joghlew. Meta ra hekk Dr. Fenech Adami missu waqqaf lil Dalli biex ma jkomplix jidhak bin-nies. Imma John Dalli huwa b’sahhtu hafna fil-Partit Nazzjonalista u quddiem din is-sahha, Dr. Fenech Adami ceda.

 

Il-farsa kompliet, b’Dr. Fenech Adami jghidilna, “THE GOVERNMENT WOULD MAKE UP FOR ANY COST OF LIVING INCREASE CAUSED BY VAT.” Dan f’Mejju tal-istess sena. Araw x’tahwid nobis u x’gideb kif jghidu l-Inglizi left, right and centre!!!

 

Fl-1994 il-GRTU bdiet bil-kampanja qalila taghha kontra l-introduzzjoni tal-VAT.

 

The Sunday Times f’Mejju tal-1994 qaltilna li, “THE MLP IS PROBABLY RIGHT WHEN IT SAYS THAT VAT WOULD RAISE THE COST OF LIVING”. Alla jbierek l-MLP jiprova jiftah ghajnejn in-nies bil-qerq tal-Gvern Nazzjonalista u John Dalli jghid li hu biss ghandu ragun.

 

Fl-Lulju tal-istess sena il-Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association qaltilna li kellha, “STRONG RESERVATIONS ABOUT VAT . . .”

 

Fi ktejjeb jismu VAT Gusta u Mehtiega mahrug mill-ministeru ta’ John Dalli biex bhal donnu jghidilna li rridu naccettaw id-decizjoni tieghu u rridu nirrassenjaw ruhna ghad-decizjonijiet tal-gvern tieghu, qalilna “ILLUM HADD MA JOHLOM LI JGHIX F'XI PAJJIZ MINGHAJR MA JHALLAS IT-TAXXI”. Prosit. Imma l-kwistjoni mhux jekk inhallsux taxxi jew le imma l-kwistjoni kienet fuq il-gideb dwar l-gholi tal-hajja minhabba l-VAT u jekk il-VAT kienetx gusta fil-mod kif saret. Kliem bhal “rridu nhallsu t-taxxi bil-fors” huwa kliem arroganti li ntuza biex jipruvaw inizlulna t-taxxa l-gdida minn grizmejna.

 

Il-General Workers Union kienet minn ta’ quddiem kontra l-introduzzjoni tal-VAT. Il-union sabet appogg qawwi minn diversi unions u ghaqdiet ohra fil-glieda kontra din it-taxxa.

 

Tant il-ligi tal-VAT qajmet ferment fil-pajjiz li saru azzjonijiet horox kontra l-introduzzjoni taghha. F’Settembru tal-1994, il-Paceville Hotels, Restaurants and Places of Entertainment Association kif ukoll il-Bugibba and Qawra Tourist Association taw struzzjonijiet lil membri taghhom biex ma jirregistrawx ruhhom taht din il-ligi u biex ma jimlewx il-formola tar-registrazzjoni tal-VAT u biex ma jixtrux cash registers fiskali.

 

Meta The Times bdiet tara li l-Gvern Nazzjonalista gab lilu nnifsu b’dahru mal-hajt fuq il-kwistjoni tal-gholi tal-hajja, kellha tammetti , “VAT MAY INDEED INCREASE THE COST OF LIVING.”

 

Minkejja dan u minhabba li l-Gvern Nazzjonalista ried akkost ta’ kollox ikompli bil-pjan tieghu, The Times qalet lill-gvern, “MUCH DEPENDS ON THE GOVERNMENT'S POLITICAL WILL TO SEE IT TAKE ROOT IN THE MALTESE MENTALITY.” Jigifieri l-importanti issa kien li l-poplu jdahhalha f’rasu li jrid jew ma jridx ikollu jibda jghix bit-taxxa l-gdida ma’ saqajh. Fi kliem iehor dahhluha f’raskhom. Arroganza prima kwalita minn dawk li weghdu djalogu shih.

 

Il-Partit Laburista mill-ewwel kien ghamilha cara li l-Gvern Nazzjonalista dahhal il-VAT minhabba s-shubija fl-Unjoni Ewropea, argument li l-PN cahad. U biex il-Gvern Nazzjonalista ikompli jinkixef gharwien dwar ghaliex verament dahhal il-VAT sab li l-Alternattiva Demokratika nehhietlu l-werqa li kien ghad baqaghlu.  F’Awwissu, The Malta Independent ikkwotat lill-Alternattiva Demokratika u qalet hekk, “ALTERNATTIVA DEMOKRATIKA SAYS THE REAL REASONS FOR THE FAST INTRODUCTION OF VAT ARE CONNECTED TO MALTA'S APPLICATION TO JOIN THE EUROPEAN UNION.”

 

Ma rridux ninsew haga ohra li l-VAT il-Gvern Nazzjonalista dahhalha bil-goff. Filwaqt li pajjizi ohra l-VAT dahlet b’rata baxxa anka ta’ 5%, il-PN fil-Gvern deherlu li kien bravu bizzejjed li l-VAT idahhalha bil-15% mill-ewwel. F’Lulju tal-1995 meta allura l-piz tal-VAT beda jinhass sew specjalment fil-qasam turistiku fejn halla effett dizastruz ghal-ahhar, raprezentant tal-Edrichton Holidays qal hekk f’The Times, “WE HAVE THE HIGHEST VAT RATE IN THE MEDITERRANEAN AND IT IS QUITE SIMPLY MAKING US UNCOMPETITIVE. WE NEED TO REDUCE IT DRASTICALLY AND SOON.” Rajtu ta’ min kien it-tort li t-turisti naqqsu?

 

The Times f’Lulju tal-1995 ikkonfermat il-qerq Nazzjonalista meta qalet, “PRICES OF GOODS IN SHOPS SHOULD HAVE BEEN EITHER NEUTRAL OR CHEAPER BY THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CUSTOMS DUTY AND 15 PER CENT VAT. SHOPPERS KNOW THAT THIS IS NOT SO. THERE MUST BE DISAPPOINTMENT IN MR. DALLI'S CAMP THAT IN A NUMBER OF CASES, CONSUMERS ARE NOT REAPING THE OBVIOUS ADVANTAGE THAT VAT PROMISED.”

 

Anke dawk li ghandhom tejatri tac-cinema wkoll irrapurtaw tnaqqis fin-numru ta’ nies li zaru s-swali taghhom minhabba l-introduzzjoni tal-VAT. L-Eden Leisure Group irraporta tnaqqis kbir ta’ 23%.

 

It-turisti wkoll bdew jonqsu meta l-pakkett li Malta bdiet tbiegh ghola minhabba l-VAT.

 

Il-hajja tant gholiet minhabba l-VAT li l-unions bdew jitolbu ghal kumpens fil-pagi minhabba din iz-zieda fl-gholi tal-hajja.

 

U n-negozju? Il-GRTU qaltilna f’Ottubru tal-1995 li hafna negozji zghar ghalqu jew bdew ihejju biex jghalqu.

 

Biex in-Nazzjonalisti jkomplu jifthu l-ferita berah, ghamlu dak li l-anqas hadd ma kien jistenna. Bdew jibbojkottjaw dawk il-hwienet li kienu kontra l-VAT!!!

 

F’Novembru tal-1996 meta allura Dr. Fenech Adami sab ruhu jmexxi l-partit tieghu mill-opposizzjoni spicca biex ammetta hekk f’The Malta Independent, “WHEN ONE INTRODUCES A SYSTEM OF TAXATION LIKE VAT SOME INCREASE IN THE COST OF LIVING IS INEVITABLE”. Imma inthom mhux hekk ghidtu sur Fenech Adami inthom ghidtu li l–VAT ma kienetx ser tgholli l-hajja. U ghax ghidtu hekk inthom dhaktu bil-poplu. U konferma ta’ kemm dhaktu bil-poplu taghilna Lou Bondi stess meta f’Dicembru tal-1999 qal, “WHEN VAT WAS INTRODUCED ORIGINALLY, PRICES DID NOT GO DOWN TO ANYWHERE NEAR THE LEVELS PREDICTED BY PN POLITICIANS. NEITHER DID THEY DO SO WITH THE SECOND COMING OF VAT THIS YEAR. WE ALL REMEMBER HIS (JOHN DALLI) COMMENT ON XARABANK THAT WITH THE INTRODUCTION OF VAT 40,000  PRODUCTS WOULD GO DOWN IN PRICE.”

 

F’Dicembru tal-2001 The Sunday Times taghtna c-cirasa ta’ fuq il-kejk, “A SECTION OF THE 1994 VAT LAW WAS FOUND TO BE IN VIOLATION OF THE FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHT TO A FAIR HEARING.”

 

Fil-Budget tas-sena 2001 il-VAT kompliet tinfirex. The Times irrapurtat hekk, “MALTA ASSOCIATION OF TRAVEL AGENTS EXPRESSES CONCERN OVER BUDGET INTRODUCTION OF VAT ON AIR TICKETS SOLD BY TRAVEL AGENTS.” Ovvjament xi hadd irid jaghmel tajjeb ghal din iz-zieda. Aqtghu min beda jhallas din it-taxxa gdida?

 

F'Jannar 2004, il-Gvern gholla l-VAT minn 15% ghall-18%

 

IL-LEVY

 

F’Novembru tal-1990 il-Malta Restaurants Association ilmentat li n-negozju taghhom naqas wara li l-gvern dahhal il-Levy ta’ ghaxra fil-mija fir-ristoranti.

 

Fi Frar tal-1991, Albert Muscat Inglott president tal-Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association iddeskriva s-sistema tal-Levy bhala diskriminatorja.

 

F’Gunju tal-1992, Albert Muscat Inglott talab biex il-Levy ta’ ghaxra fil-mija titnehha u rrimarka li ma kien hemm ebda kuntatt mill-Gvern mal-assocjazzjoni.

 

F’Lulju tal-1993, fir-rapport annwali tal-Malta Restaurants Association il-gvern Nazzjonalista gie akkuzat li qieghed jabbuza mill-industrija tal-catering specjalment minhabba l-levies.

 

Fl-Lulju tal-1994 il-Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association qaltilna li kellha, “STRONG RESERVATIONS ABOUT . . . THE 10% LEVY ON FOOD AND THE 5% ROOM TAX.”

 

Fil-gazzetta l-Alternattiva numru 90, l-Alternattiva Demokratika kitbet hekk, “MIT-TWELID TAGHHA (10% LEVY FIR-RISTORANTI) KIENET IMFASSLA B'MOD BAZWI U B'MOD KONFUZ, FEJN QEGHDA SSERVI BISS SABIEX TKOMPLI ZZID L-GHOLI TAL-HAJJA.”

 

L-INCOME TAX

 

Meta nigu ghall-income tax, niftakru kemm il-PN kien ghamel kapital politiku li t-taxxa fuq il-qliegh kienet gholiet taht Gvernijiet Laburisti mill-1971. Kulhadd kien ghalhekk stenna li n-Nazzjonalisti inaqqsu l-piz tat-taxxi. Min haseb hekk haseb hazin hafna. Ir-rekord tat-taxxi Nazzjonalisti huwa wiehed li jinkwieta lil kull haddiem u filwaqt li l-Ministru tal-Finanzi joghrok idejh ghax igibha zewg kull darba, il-haddiem dejjem joghtor taht il-piz dejjem jizdied tat-taxxi.

 

Ma rridux ninsew illi l-Gvern Nazzjonalista jsibha facli biex jgholli t-taxxi biex jaghmel tajjeb ghall-izbilanc li ghandu fil-budget. Inutli t-twissijiet mill-kummercjanti, mill-unions, mill-investituri u ekonomisti. Iffaccjat bi djufija interna ovvja u evidenti biex jikkontrolla l-infieq tieghu, il-Gvern idur ghal-bwiet il-haddiema biex jigbor minn ghandu dak li ghandu bzonn biex ikun jista jhallas ghal-kapricci tieghu. Tant il-Gvern m’ghandux sahha jew determinazzjoni biex jikkontrolla l-emorogija finanzjarja tieghu illi l-anqas il-Ministru tal-Finanzi stess ma hu kapaci jzomm mal-programm ekonomiku mhejji/pprezentat minnu stess u ppublikat mal-budget kull sena. L-unika soluzzjoni ghal-gvern hi dik facli li jgholli t-taxxi. Dan hu gvern dghajjef, gvern bla skrupli u gvern arroganti li jaghmel li jrid galarba l-poplu jibqa jtella l-PN fil-gvern. Ghalhekk filwaqt li jien ghandi d-dritt nilmenta ghax inhoss it-toqol tat-taxxi, dawk li vvutawlu ghandhom jaghtu fuq sidirhom ghax it-tbatijiet tal-lum huma stess gabuhom b’idejhom u huma wkoll iridu jhallsu qares ghalihom. Il-hmerija hi li nofs Malta trid gvern alternattiv serju imma jkollha bilfors taqsam fil-piz tat-taxxi mal-kumplament tal-poplu.

 

Halli naraw fuq fuq dawn it-taxxi Nazzjonalisti u l-effett taghhom.

 

F’Lulju tal-1992, il-Malta Institute of Accountants iddeskriviet parti mill-emendi fil-ligi tal-income tax bhala, “DRACONIAN AND A SERIOUS BREACH OF THE RIGHTS OF TAXPAYERS.”

 

Mill-budgets kollha li ghamel il-Gvern Nazzjonalista ma kien hemm l-ebda budget li jhabbatha ma’ dak tal-2000 li kien wiehed mill-ghar budgets li qatt saru. Sejjer niprova nkun fil-qasir fil-kwotazzjonijiet li ser naghmel. Ma ninsew qatt li l-PN kien wieghed li mhux ser izid it-taxxi.

 

Nibda qabel xejn bis-soltu gideb tal-Ministru John Dalli, “THE BUDGET WILL NOT BE ONE OF AUSTERITY.” Tikkwotah The Sunday Times. Mela John Dalli jiddeskrivi l-budget l-oppost ta’ kif fil-fatt kien ser jaghmlu. L-anqas jisthi!!

 

The Sunday Times qalet, “MANY (THIS NEWSPAPER AMONG THEM) HAVE DISAGREED WITH SOME FEATURES OF THE 2000 BUDGET – PARTICULARLY THE INCREASE IN INCOME TAX.”

 

Gejtu Tanti, president tal-UHM gie ikkwotat f’The Times, “THE GOVERNMENT, THROUGH ITS BUDGET, HAD ADDRESSED THE PROBLEM OF THE FINANCIAL DEFICIT AT THE EXPENSE OF THE WORKERS.”

 

Dr. Fenech Adami kien konxju mill-piz li tefa’ fuq il-poplu. “THE GOVERNMENT BELIEVED THAT THE MEASURES WERE PAINFUL” hekk qal f’The Times. Tiftakru l-ewwel mass meeting Nazzjonalista fuq il-fossos wara li rebhu l-elezzjoni tal-1998. Dakinhar Dr. Fenech Adami kien qal lil poplu, “ghinuna ngorru s-salib”. Imma s-salib huma stess ghamluh . . . imbaghad iriduna nghinuhom igorruh!!!!

 

Is-Segretarju General tal-UHM ukoll wera x’jahseb fuq dak il-budget, “UHM SECRETARY GENERAL SAID THE MEASURES INTRODUCED IN THE BUDGET WOULD BE A BURDEN ON WORKERS AND OTHER SALARIED EMPLOYEES.” Gabuh f’The Times.

 

Il-UHM terga tikritika, “AVERAGE WAGE EARNERS WORST HIT BY BUDGET.”

 

Il-Malta Insurance Association dahlet ukoll fil-kredu, “THE INDUCED COSTS FROM THE BUDGET WERE EXPECTED TO HAVE AN OVERALL NEGATIVE EFFECT ON THE INSURANCE BUSINESS.”

 

Il-Gens ma baqax lura, “IL-BUDGET 2000 ZGUR LI MHUX BUDGET POPOLARI GHAX HUWA WIEHED IEBES U JOLQOT HAFNA NIES.”

 

The Malta Independent on Sunday ma setghetx ma tikritikax, “LAST YEAR’S BUDGET CONSISTED ALMOST EXCLUSIVELY OF TAX INCREASES. THERE WERE NO INCENTIVES FOR GROWTH AND NO CUTS IN GOVERNMENT EXPENDITURE. FURTHERMORE IT WAS THE MIDDLE CLASS WHICH… BORE THE BRUNT OF THE TAX INCREASES, DUE MAINLY TO THE FACT THAT INCOME TAX WAS RAISED...”

 

Dr. Fenech Adami ammetta. “DR. FENECH ADAMI ADMITTED THAT PEOPLE WERE NOT PRAISING HIM BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT HAD RAISED INCOME TAX.” Hekk qalet f’The Times.

 

Tiftakru kif John Dalli kien qal li l-budget ma kienx ser ikun wiehed ta’ awsterita? The Sunday Times ippruvat iggibu f’sensieh, “IT WOULD BE UNREALISTIC NOT TO ADMIT THAT BUDGET 2000 ... CONTAINS A DOSE OF AUSTERITY THAT WILL HIT THE MIDDLE CLASS (MAKING UP THE BULK OF TAXPAYERS) HARDER THAN EXPECTED.”

 

The Sunday Times kompliet, “IN THE SHORT TERM, THE AVERAGE TAXPAYER WILL NOT ONLY HAVE TO PAY MORE INCOME TAX NEXT YEAR, BUT ALSO A HIGHER NATIONAL INSURANCE CONTRIBUTION.”

 

The Malta Independent on Sunday qaltielu bil-pulit, “THE DECISION TO RAISE INCOME TAX WAS SURELY A MISTAKE.”

 

The Malta Independent on Sunday ftit wara regghet, “… A BUDGET JUST A FEW MONTHS AGO WHICH NOT ONLY INCREASED INDIRECT TAXES CONSIDERABLY, BUT, FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE INDEPENDENCE, REDUCED THE PAY PACKET OF A HUGE SECTION OF THE ELECTORATE BY INCREASING INCOME TAX.” Qed taraw kemm morna l-quddiem taht il-PN? Ghall-ewwel darba mill-Indipendenza l’hawn il-paga TNAQSET.

 

The Malta Independent on Sunday gimghat wara regghet ikkonfermat, “LAST YEAR’S BUDGET … SAW AN INCREASE IN BOTH DIRECT AND INDIRECT TAXES.”

 

Nahseb daqshekk bizzejjed!! M’hemmx bzonn aktar provi tas-swat ekonomiku li qlajna mill-Gvern Nazzjonalista.

 

Gejna imbaghad ghal budget tas-sena 2001. U ergajna bdejna bil-gideb ta’ John Dalli. The Times ikkwotatu li qal, “THE NEXT BUDGET IS NOT EXPECTED TO INCLUDE INCREASES IN INCOME TAX.” Il-giddieb ghomru qasir. John Dalli pprezenta l-budget u ezatt kif jaf jaghmel il-Gvern Nazzjonalista . . . ZIED IT-TAXXI. Jahasra dawn nies li jigdbulek f’wiccek, l-anqas jisthu ma jafu. Imbaghad nofs Malta tmur iccapcpilhom!!!!

 

Din id-darba pero kienet il-gazzetta The Malta Independent on Sunday li harget l-aktar kontra din iz-zieda fit-taxxa.

 

The Malta Independent on Sunday regghet ghal sena ohra ikkritikat iz-ziedet fit-taxxi, “WHY THE NEW REGULATIONS COVERING THIS TAX (fuq fringe benefits) SHOULD BE SO DRACONIAN, SO CLEAN SWEEPING AND SO RIGID IS HARD TO UNDERSTAND.”

 

U The Malta Independent on Sunday kompliet, “A WHOLE SECTOR OF THE POPULATION, MAINLY MIDDLE CLASS EXECUTIVES, WILL RECEIVE A CUT IN THEIR NET TAKE HOME PAY FOR THE SECOND YEAR RUNNING … WE MUST NOT FORGET THAT LAST YEAR INCOME TAX WAS RAISED.”

 

Ftit wara l-istess gazzetta qalet, “THE GOVERNMENT’S DECISION TO EXTENSIVELY TAX (FRINGE BENEFITS) IS WRONG, DISHONEST AND UNFAIR FOR A NUMBER OF REASONS.” . . . “FOR THE SECOND YEAR RUNNING, THE TAKE-HOME PAY OF THOUSANDS OF SALARIED PEOPLE IS TO DECREASE.”

 

Ghadda ftit zmien iehor u terga, “THERE IS PLENTY TO CRITICIZE ABOUT THIS BUDGET, MOST ESPECIALLY THE TAX INCREASES.”

 

U tinsewx li John Dalli QABEL il-budget qal li mhux ser izid it-taxxi. Lil min tafu tistaqsix ghalih jghid il-Malti, u lil John Dalli nafuh sew.

 

The Malta Independent f’Jannar 2001 qaltilna, “IT IS A PITY THAT ONCE AGAIN THIS GOVERNMENT HAS DECIDED TO IMPOSE MORE TAXES ON A SMALL BUSINESS SECTOR – WHICH IT SHOULD BE SUPPORTING.”

 

Ejjew ma ninsewx li aktar ma jizdiedu t-taxxi, anqas jibqa flus fil-bwiet taghna. U anqas ma jkollna x’nonfqu anqas ikun hemm tkabbir ekonomiku. Kulhadd irid jara r-rota ddur imma biex ir-rota ddur il-gvern irid ihallina nghixu ta’ nies u mhux iqaxxarna hajjin!

 

Gieli naqraw xi messagg l’ hawn u l’ hinn fuq is-sitwazzjoni tal-poplu. The Malta Independent on Sunday f’Awwissu 2003 qaltilna, “THE PEOPLE ARE ALREADY HEAVILY TAXED, THE COST OF LIVING ESPECIALLY FOR THE ELDERLY IS HIGH AND SPENDING POWER HAS DECREASED”. Imma l-gvern mhux qieghed f’sitwazzjoni ekonomika tajba. Jekk inaqqas it-taxxi kif irriduh jaghmel, idahhal anqas u bhal issa jrid idahhal aktar u mhux anqas ghax il-problema tad-deficit finanzjarju harbitlu minn idejh. Din is-sitwazzjoni li ma hi sabiha xejn gabha l-gvern wahdu minhabba t-tahwid li kellu u ghad ghandu. U l-prijorita tal-Gvern Nazzjonalista x’hini? L-ewwel hu, t-tieni hu, t-tielet hu . . . u jekk jibqa xi haga, jiehduha tal-qalba. U ahna (kif diga qalulna) irridu nghaddu minn zminijiet difficli. Hekk sewwa?!!

 

Mela f’din il-pagna rajna li l-weghdiet tal-gvern Nazzjonalista li ma jghollix it-taxxi huma weghdiet li ma jiswew ghal xejn. Imma l-PN jibqa jinsisti li nehduhom bis-serjeta. Meta s-Segretarju Parlamentari fil-Ministeru tal-Finanzi Tonio Fenech kellem lil The Times fit-8 ta’ Frar 2005 bl-akbar serjeta qal, "That the government was ready to bind itself not to increase VAT and income tax were not to be taken lightly." Tajjeb, mela ejjew nemmnu lil Tonio Fenech li l-gvern Nazzjonalista ghandu jitwemmen meta jghid li jintrabat li ma jzidx l-income tax. TAFU X’GHAMEL TONIO FENECH FTIT JIEM WARA ? Le, ma tafux? Mela nghidilkom ... Habbar zieda fl-income tax ghal dawk il-Maltin li jahdmu barra minn Malta. Ma temmnux lili? Mela araw x’qalet The Times tal-10 ta’ Frar 2005, "Maltese workers abroad who signed their work contract in Malta are to be charged income tax at 15 per cent instead of the current low flat rates, Parliamentary Secretary Tonio Fenech has told Parliament." Issa x’se taghmel? Se temmen il-weghdiet tal-gvern Nazzjonalista?   

 

ECO-CONTRIBUTION

 

Taxxa gdida li dahlet fis-sajf tal-2004 kienet il-famuza eco-contribution. Wiehed m'ghandux jithawwad dwar il-kelma "contribution" din m'hi xejn ghajr kelma ohra minflok 'taxxa'. Il-gvern Nazzjonalista konxju mill-fatt li l-poplu mdejjaq minn dawn it-taxxi dejjem jizdiedu, ipprova jghatti x-xemx bl-gharbiel billi jelimina l-kelma 'taxxa'. Mill-bidu nett kien hemm oppozizzjoni qawwija ghal din it-taxxa gdida.

 

Naraw ftit mill-oppozizzjoni ghal din it-taxxa:

 

“It is sheer folly to ignore the argument that the new (eco) tax will mean an added burden on consumers at a time when they can least afford it or that "consultations", if that is what happened, leave a lot to be desired. The economy is not doing well. Unemployment is at a worrying level and the deficit and public debt figures do not leave much scope for maneuvering when it comes to government spending.” – editorjal, The Times 22.7.2004

 

“The two main trade unions – the General Workers Union and the Union Haddiema Maghqudin – have both called on the government to delay the introduction of the eco-contribution and warned talks at social partner level could be seriously jeopardised if it persisted with what they perceive as lack of consultation.” – The Times 21.7.2004

 

“On the other hand, the eco-contribution (a tax, in effect) contemplated in the eco-contribution bill will be mainly a revenue-raiser (although the government denies this) to the tune of Lm4 million a year on the backs of those who, whether they like it or not, are deemed to be 'polluters' every time they buy a refrigerator, washing machine or air-conditioner, or car tyres, oil for their engines, drinks, toiletries, TV sets or mobile phones. The fact is that the consumer needing any of these products has no choice between buying 'polluting' and 'non-polluting' makes, at least at present.” – editorjal, The Sunday Times 18.7.2004

 

“The GRTU is extremely concerned that a new proposed eco-tax will hit directly the small and medium enterprises. GRTU emphatically states that it is not in favour of a new tax.” – The Malta Independent on Sunday 18.7.2004

 

“Whatever the government may say, the bill that provides for the introduction of an "eco-contribution" on a range of items, is nothing but another excuse to increase government's revenue. … it comes as no surprise that the GRTU and The Federation of Industry have criticised the proposed eco-tax. They have repeatedly stated that taxation in Malta is already too high and the introduction of a new tax does not make sense, especially when it affects the business community and, ultimately, the consumer. Eco-tax or not, the bill simply puts another burden on the people. … we disagree with the prime minister when he says that it (new eco-tax) will help to nurture a national conscience to produce less waste.” – editorjal, The Malta Independent 17.7.2004

 

“The eco contribution, a euphemism for tax, is bound to push up retail prices not only by the rate indicated by the government on a long list of items but also by any other additional charge importers would add on as an administration expense. For example, on a packet of four small batteries the charge would be 10c per battery. … Dr. Gonzi said the tax would only have a minimal effect of 0.84 of a percentage point on the retail price index. The GRTU – Chamber of Small and Medium Enterprises and The Federation of Industry have protested strongly against the introduction of the tax. … the tax will be charged on containers ranging from plastic and glass bottles and cans for beer, wine and non-alcoholic drinks to white goods and electronic products including telephones.” – The Times 15.7.2004

 

An online poll by The Times asking whether the proposed eco contribution was deemed to be fair and necessary saw 71.2 per cent of those taking part saying no and the remaining 28.8 per cent being in favour. – The Times 28.7.2004

 

The executive council of the Malta Chamber of Small and Medium Enterprise - GRTU has decided to advise members and other businessmen to inform their employees as soon as the eco tax legislation comes into force that this was a serious threat to their business and they could not guarantee their employment. – The Times 29.7.2004

 

With regard to the eco-tax, which came into force yesterday, the (Consumers') association said that although it was in favour of safeguarding the environment, it could not agree with the way this tax was introduced, without consideration of the social impact.  – The Times 2.9.2004

 

Tinsewx li barra din it-taxxa fuq il-prodotti, tridu thallsu l-VAT ukoll bi 18% kif ukoll prezz ghall-ispejjez amministrattivi li l-produtturi jiddeciedu li jitolbu sabiex jigbru t-taxxa gdida biex jghadduha lill-gvern.

 

L-anqas fuq l-importanza tad-data ghall-implimentazzjoni ta' din it-taxxa ma jaqblu. Ministru jghid mod u l-Prim Ministru jghid mod iehor. Vera kaz li l-id ix-xellugija ma tafx x'hini taghmel l-id il-leminija!!

 

“The government remained ready for further consultations on the eco-contribution but it could not postpone the introduction of this scheme, … it was impossible to postpone the introduction of the eco-contribution because the need to improve waste management was urgent. Environment and Rural Affairs Minister George Pullicino told parliament yesterday.” – The Times 20.7.2004

 

“Mr Pullicino, who was speaking late on Friday, referred to requests to the government to postpone the introduction of the eco-contribution and said the country could not wait. The system, he said, could be improved along the way but it had to start being operated.” – The Times 26 July 2004

 

“Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi yesterday told the constituted bodies that the controversial eco tax would not come into effect on August 1 - the date it was to be introduced.” – The Times 27.7.2004

 

X’qal Pierre Portelli

“… an eco-contribution which in real terms is nothing but a tax aimed at polluters.” – artiklu fl-inflight magazine tal-Air Malta, Settembru 2004.

 

MHUX VERA!! Pierre Portelli qieghed iqarraq. Din it-taxxa jrid ihallasha kulhadd. Kull min jixtri mill-lista li tidher hawn fuq, irid ihallas din it-taxxa. Irid ihallasha hu wkoll allura bl-argument tieghu hu stess qieghed ihammeg l-ambjent. Din mhux taxxa gusta appuntu minhabba li jrid ihallasha kulhadd anke dawk li jahdmu ghal titjib fl-ambjent. Ihallsuha wkoll dawk li huma konxji mill-ambjent u jaghmlu minn kollox anke sagrificji personali sabiex iharsu l-ambjent Malti. Ghalhekk dak li qal Pierre Portelli m’hu xejn hlief qerq bl-aktar mod car, biex jiggustifika taxxa ohra ngusta Nazzjonalista.

 

“The (Consumers’) association said it could not agree with the spread of eco taxation since this would continue to increase the cost of living unnecessarily and would not bring about the required change to the environment.” – The Times 2.12.2004

 

“The eco-contribution could have been introduced in a better way, there could have been more thought put into the process and better marketing, Parliamentary Secretary Edwin Vassallo acknowledged in parliament yesterday.” – The Times 19.1.2005

 

“Almost 60% of the population (59.3%) do not agree with the eco-tax that has been introduced on a number of products.” dan wara stharrig li ghamlet The Times fi Frar 2005

 

“The extension of the eco-contribution to several new products yesterday brought chaos and confusion as retailers and manufacturers were stunned by the magnitude of the tax, especially on plastic bags.” – The Times 5.1.2005

 

“The majority of employees of a plastic packaging company were ordered out on forced leave yesterday after the management felt that the newly announced eco-taxes would simply make the company unsustainable.” – The Times 5.1.2005

 

“An eco-contribution is now payable on a number of items ranging from bottles, cans and containers of beverages, liquid soap, perfumes, plastic kitchenware, chewing gum, cartridges, mattresses, tyres, batteries and lubricating oil to air conditioners, TV sets, water heaters, mobile phones, calculators as well as toners and ink cartridges.” – The Times 5.1.2005

 

“GRTU director general Vince Farrugia complained that the government was saying one thing but doing the opposite. "Eco-contribution has been introduced on a range of new products and people do not know how it works. The measure is just another fiscal one. "Eco-contribution has been introduced on electronic goods while the government had negotiated with the EU to postpone implementation on the directive on electronic and electrical equipment waste till December 2008. This simply does not make any sense at all, Mr Farrugia said.” – The Times 5.1.2005

 

“Trap shooting competitions at the Qormi and Bidnija shooting ranges were cancelled yesterday in protest against the new eco-tax.” – The Times 10.1.2005

 

“… the eco-contribution should have been better introduced.” – Dr. Lawrence Gonzi, The Malta Independent on Sunday 8.5.2005

 

“In a bid to keep up with complaints from industrial sector, which seems to have no problem finding loopholes in the eco-contribution legislation, the Environment Ministry is amending the law covering the eco-contribution yet again. The law was doomed to constant amendment right from the start, with the legal notice being modified shortly after it was first introduced.” – editorjal, The Malta Independent 2.9.2005

 

INHERITANCE TAX

 

Taxxa gdida li dahhal il-Gvern Nazzjonalista u li sabet oppozizzjoni kbira kienet l-Ineritance Tax. Jekk wiehed jisma u jixtarr il-karba ta' dawk li jridu jhallsu din it-taxxa ngusta, wiehed ma jistax ma jikkompatix lill-vittmi taghha. Jekk perezempju wiehed jghix mal-genituri tieghu u dawn jigu nieqsa u jiret id-dar irid ihallas 5% tal-valur taghha. U jekk m'ghandux biex ihallas x'se jaghmel? Hawn 13,000 ruh ifittxu x-xoghol bhal issa. Hawn eluf ta' familji li qeghdin fil-faqar. Tghid dawn m'ghandhomx genituri? Jifilhu jhallsu din it-taxxa jekk jirtu d-dar? Jghidulek ehles minnha d-dar biex iggib lura l-flus li kont hrigt. Imbaghad fejn tmur toqghod? U l-Gvern jekk tbiegh id-dar jehodlok persentagg esagerat u nfami ta' 35% taxxa fuq kull Lira li stajt qlajt minnha, apparti l-ispejjez tan-nutar. B'hekk tispicca li minhaba li l-genituri mietu, u jekk m'intix sinjur diga, il-gvern prattikament jitfghek il-barra mid-dar ghax ma jkollok l-ebda alternattiva. Hekk jimxi l-Gvern tal-kuxjenza socjali.

 

The Sunday Times 18.7.2004

Marisa Micallef Leyson

Newspapers, and The Sunday Times in particular, have been full of letters denouncing this measure. And I too listed it as one of the middle class grievances that cost this government the third seat it should have got in the European parliamentary election. … Any government therefore needs to handle this situation with care. The last Budget did not do that! We all quite naturally felt miffed at having to pay any tax at all on something which is ours and our parents' by right - the family home. It is something our parents paid for after paying their taxes too, after all. … With the new system as introduced you now have to pay five per cent when you inherit. Now again, that is unfair on many who do not have this to pay. And if this is the family home they have been living in, why on earth should they?

 

The Sunday Times 11.7.2004

Ms. Imelda Naudi, Kappara.

I join the chorus of your correspondents who continue to express disapproval at the injustice we have been caused by the retroactive inheritance tax which Government announced in the last Budget. Like Mr. Mercieca (The Sunday Times, June 27), I did not vote PN this time. Like Mr. Sammut (June 27), I listened in disbelief as PN secretary-general Joe Saliba hotly denied during Xarabank that the levying of this tax was tantamount to the Government staking a hefty claim in the proceeds of the sale of inherited property. My sisters and I inherited our parents' residence - a terraced house - and a small nearby field where my father grew vegetables for the family's needs. A year ago, we entered into a lengthy promise of sale, accepting the buyers' request for time to apply for the necessary development permits. Everything was done according to law, and after we received the required assurances of the authorities. But in a sweeping, remorseless move, the government stepped in on November 24, and gloatingly dug deep into our pockets to take a share of the transactions. The tax announcement came at a time when there could be no turning back on the promise of sale we had agreed on months before. It was in vain that we drew attention to the injustice we were being made to suffer. I wrote two letters which were not even acknowledged. Everywhere I pleaded, I was met with stony silence.

 

The Sunday Times 27.6.2004

Mr. Michael Sammut, Birkirkara.

I was disgusted by the comments made by Joe Saliba, the Nationalist Party's secretary-general, regarding the inheritance tax during Xarabank of June 18. Like the Prime Minister on the same programme, he tried to mislead people on the inheritance tax by saying that you only pay 5% 'succession duty' on the declared value of inherited property. Oh yes you do pay the initial 5% tax (and you will be penalised by the Inland Revenue if you under-declare), but what Dr Gonzi and Mr Saliba did not say is that if you sell that property, you pay a further 35% tax on the difference between what that property was declared for; and what it was sold for. A member of the Xarabank audience, Sandro Chetcuti, bravely tried to argue with Mr Saliba, but the latter immediately changed the subject. And yes, it is as Mr Chetcuti said; from undivided inherited property, the government will get the largest chunk of what your parents and close relatives left you in their wills... how shameful. The Nationalist Party was warned over and over again on this obscene tax, but they refused and still refuse to listen. They counted on the ignorance of the people on this law, but it rebounded at them. And if they intend to remove it just before the next election, they are in for another big surprise. People are not that dense. Just talk to those who will have to pay thousands, or could not sell because of this tax! And to those who have not yet understood it, well, they will be in for a very rude awakening when it will hit them at some time or other in their lives. Anyway, the people have rightfully shown their anger at the PN and this law during the European Parliament and local council elections. The general election will come in four years' time... good luck to the stubborn PN, but if I were in their shoes, I would really try to open my eyes and ears to reality!

 

The Sunday Times 27.6.2004

Mr. J. Mercieca, St Julian's.

Like Mr. V.P. Mifsud (The Sunday Times, June 20) I too did not vote for the Nationalist Party this time, and if the government does not abolish the property inheritance tax and repeal the old 1939 rent laws to take into account the cost of living today, I will certainly do so again. And I am sure others will do the same.

 

The Times 25.6.2004

Mario de Marco MP

The inheritance tax as applied consequent to the last budget has created ill feelings in certain quarters.

 

MaltaToday 25.1.2004

A. Farrugia, Msida

This situation has recently been further aggravated by the new inheritance tax measures announced in the last budget.

 

XRAR OHRAJN

 

Meta Dr. Lawrence Gonzi f'Lulju 2004 gie mistoqsi jekk hux se jaghti garanzija li t-taxxi mhux se jgholew, qal car u tond li ma kienx se jaghti din il-garanzija. (Fil-fatt ma setax ghax dak il-jum stess gie ppubblikat l-abbozz ta' ligi dwar l-introduzjoni tal-eco-contribution). “Asked to give a guarantee that taxes will not be raised, Dr. Gonzi said he was not ready to give such a guarantee.” – The Times 15.7.2004

 

Mill-1 t’Awwissu 2005 dahlet taxxa gdida ta’ Lm10 ghal kull persuna li ssiefer bl-ajruplan.

 

Il-valanga ta’ taxxi godda taht il-Gvern Nazzjonalista gieghlet lill-editur ta’ Malta Today jghid, “All these taxes even make the sea of taxes introduced by Alfred Sant in his brief tenure at Auberge de Castille look mild.”

 

Mill-1 ta’ Settembru 2005 it-taxxa fuq il-boroz tal-plastic telghet ghal 6c.

 

Fit-13 ta’ Frar 2006, The Times ikkwotat lil Eurostat li kkonferma li fl-2004 il-Gvern Malti kellu l-akbar zieda fil-persentagg tad-dhul mit-taxxi imqabbel mal-GDP tal-pajjiz. Din iz-zieda kienet l-akbar wahda fil-Pajjizi tal-Unjoni Ewropea.

 

Fid-19 ta’ Mejju 2006, The Times ikkwotat ghal darb’ohra lil Eurostat f’rapport li jghid, “the Maltese … have experienced substantial tax increases over the past decade. According to a study published by Eurostat, the EU's statistical arm, Malta registered the highest increase in the overall tax burden among the 25 EU member states between 1995 and 2004 - 7.6 per cent of GDP. 'This stems from an increase in the VAT receipts resulting from a decrease in the range of goods exempted or taxed at lower rates, increases in personal income tax and consumption taxes arising from the broadening of the base, efforts to improve efficiency in collection and the tax on the capital gains generated through the privatisation of Malta International Airport," Eurostat said. Malta's trend runs counter to the EU where the average tax burden dropped marginally from 39.7 per cent of GDP in 1995 to 39.3 per cent in 2004.”

 

F’Gunju 2007 harget informazzjoni mill-Eurostat li giet ikkwotata minn di-ve news hekk, “Malta has registered one of the highest increases in the overall tax ratio -- the total amount of taxes and social security contributions -- among the EU Member States over the past decade, figures published by Eurostat show. According to the statistics provided by the Statistical Office of the European Communities, the overall tax burden in Malta increased from 27.3 per cent of the GDP in 1995 to 35.3 per cent of the GDP in 2005, an increase second only to that of Cyprus (from 26.7 per cent to 35.6 per cent of the GDP).”

 

 

 

Fuq nett smajna lil Fenech Adami jghid li ma jridux izidu t-taxxi. Issa isimghuh igiddeb lilu nnifsu ... u jiggustifika z-zidiet tat-taxxi taht il-PN.

U filwaqt li jikritikaw lill-MLP meta dahhal taxxi godda, l-istess Fenech Adami fil-parlament qal li m'hemm xejn hazin li n-Nazzjonalisti jzidu t-taxxi. Trid tisma' biex temmen ...

 

 

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