Chamber of Commerce ‘far from happy with energy rates’
The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry is far from happy with the current situation with regard to energy rates.
It was reacting to media reports in which the Prime Minister said that it is only the Nationalist Party leader Simon Busuttil who expected a cut in the price of electricity.
The Chamber yesterday morning felt the need to re-issue the part of the statement it had made public on Monday in the aftermath of the budget presentation. The part in question is related to energy.
“The Malta Chamber is disappointed to note that that there were no measures to address the further lowering of energy tariffs for business, which was the Chamber’s prime recommendation prior to this year’s Budget. It is feared that this fact may support further erosion in Malta’s competitive position in cost-sensitive sectors relative to other regions and states.
According to official statistics for Industrial Energy Rates for the second half of 2015 – as reproduced by Eurostat last August – electricity prices for industrial consumers including all taxes and levies in the EU28 averaged marginally lower than those available for Maltese industrial consumers. Moreover, Malta’s average industrial rate as quoted by Eurostat is 36% higher than the average rate available in countries competing for foreign direct investment, namely Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Croatia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovenia.
In addition, it is worth noting that Malta is the only EU member state where commercial rates are higher than domestic. This difference stands at 12%. On average, commercial rates in the EU28 are 43% cheaper than domestic rates. It is clear that the current structure of energy rates in Malta runs counter to the principle that wealth is first to be created before distributed and does not bode well for continued economic expansion and wealth creation in the country.”