“The Government remains committed to ensuring that it does not make the burden of taxation heavier than it should be,” said the Minister for Finance Prof. Edward Scicluna.
PRESS STATEMENT BY THE MINISTRY FOR FINANCE
Prof. Scicluna was speaking during the opening address to the Malta Institute of Management (MIM) Symposium titled “VAT, 10 Years from Joining the EU”.
Minister Scicluna recalled that from the very first moment of stepping into office, the new Government consciously ensured a smooth change in government in March 2013, which was accompanied by an even smoother political handing over of the country’s purse strings.
“The Government opted for continuation, rather than unwarranted departures from current local and international norms,” Prof. Scicluna said.
He explained that this government’s approach is underpinned by the universal concept of ‘A Fair Share of Taxation’, which means that at the most basic level every taxpayer contributes his other fair share to the economy.
“His or her fair share to strike the right balance: between triggering more prosperity by allowing businesses to thrive and, at the same time, strengthening the social, educational and financial structures which create more solidarity and more opportunities for all,” Prof. Scicluna said.
Prof. Scicluna went on to add that the new Government, while retaining the principles and fundamentals of taxation, is keen to minimise the negative fall-out from our taxation system.
“Because that is where our businesses and families were hurting most and hurting unnecessarily.”
Prof. Scicluna recalled the recent reforms carried out with regard to VAT, where interests on late payments of tax, as well as penalties, were decreased, and the rules on appropriation of payments have been changed for the better.
“Intent on being proactive rather than reactive, this government has taken the initiative to make our tax system fairer on the ground and with immediate effect. In this respect, we have not opted for the easy yet unfair road of waiting for years while constitutional cases challenging provisions are adjudicated by our courts. We saw injustices out there and we acted swiftly to remove them. Now, not tomorrow, but now,” Prof. Scicluna said.
Prof. Scicluna also referred to the ongoing merger taking place which will bring together the Inland Revenue Department, the VAT Department, and the Customs Department. He explained that the Government has sought the advice of the IMF on best practices and that experts will be in Malta to assist in the interest of concluding the merger in the shortest time possible.
– Wednesday, 15th October, 2014