Cham­ber of Com­merce ‘far from happy with en­ergy rates’

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

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.”

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