PN pro­poses in­cen­tive to re­duce tax bur­den of SMEs to 10% on first €50,000

Malta Independent - - NEWS - Gabriel Schem­bri

This gov­ern­ment has man­aged to re­duce elec­tric­ity bills twice in a leg­is­la­ture

The Na­tion­al­ist Party is propos­ing the grant of a tax in­cen­tive that will re­duce the ef­fec­tive in­come tax bur­den of SME re­tail­ers to 10% on the first €50,000 of their op­er­at­ing prof­its. For SME re­tail­ers to be el­i­gi­ble for this tax mea­sure, they need to show that they have com­plied with con­di­tions re­lat­ing to fair con­di­tions of em­ploy­ment for their work­ers, if any, and im­prove­ments in en­ergy-ef­fi­ciency and en­vi­ron­men­tal stan­dards.

This mea­sure was an­nounced yes­ter­day dur­ing the PN Gen­eral Con­fer­ence ad­dressed by Op­po­si­tion Leader Si­mon Busut­til. It is also listed in a new doc­u­ment which in­cludes a num­ber of poli­cies for re­tail­ers.

De­pend­ing on how you are set up for tax pur­poses, you can save be­tween €3,595 and €12,500. If you op­er­ate as a sole trader or are self-em­ployed with­out op­er­at­ing through a reg­is­tered com­pany, you will be sav­ing around €5,000 a year. On the other hand, if you trade through a reg­is­tered com­pany you will be sav­ing around €12,500 in tax ev­ery year. In all cases, you will only pay a to­tal of €5,000 on your first €50,000 of op­er­at­ing prof­its.

This ma­jor tax in­cen­tive is avail­able to all types of trad­ing ac­tiv­i­ties, whether in­cor­po­rated com­pa­nies or sole traders, in­clud­ing self-em­ployed traders. The PN com­mits it­self to pre­sent­ing this mea­sure in the first bud­get of a new ad­min­is­tra­tion.

“In or­der to pro­vide a ma­jor stim­u­lus to small traders, we will pro­vide them with a sig­nif­i­cant fis­cal in­cen­tive that will re­duce their over­all in­come tax bur­den to just 10% on their first €50,000 op­er­at­ing prof­its. This means that you will only pay a to­tal of €5,000 in in­come tax on your first €50,000 of op­er­at­ing prof­its,” the PN leader said.

The Na­tion­al­ist Party also pro­poses the set­ting up of an in­ter­na­tional re­tail academy un­der the aegis of the Malta Col­lege of Arts, Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy (MCAST).

Un­der the pro­posal, the academy would train peo­ple in­ter­ested in two par­tic­u­lar re­tail ar­eas and of­fer cer­tifi­cates and qual­i­fi­ca­tions. The first area would fo­cus on the op­er­a­tional side of re­tail, in­clud­ing over­the-counter ser­vice providers, cus­tomer-fac­ing in­di­vid­u­als, etc. The sec­ond sec­tion would fo­cus on re­tail man­age­ment and in­vest­ment, etc.

On the Paceville master plan, the PN leader said that there is a clear case of con­flict of in­ter­est be­cause those who drafted the plan are the same peo­ple who are work­ing for de­vel­op­ers ben­e­fit­ting from it. He said that the mil­lion­aires have Joseph Mus­cat, but the small ones, those with small busi­nesses and who strug­gle to make ends meet, have the Na­tion­al­ist Party.

Dr Busut­til also men­tioned en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists and thanked them for their courage. He said that the Na­tion­al­ist Party sup­ports their cause.

Quot­ing a re­port which came out as part of the con­sul­ta­tion for the power sta­tion project in Marsaxlokk, the Op­po­si­tion leader said he was shocked to read that “the num­ber of fa­tal­i­ties in the case of an in­ci­dent is ac­cept­able.” He said that this is a very se­ri­ous phrase, hid­den in a 15,000 page doc­u­ment and in­sisted that not even one loss of life is ac­cept­able for the PN.

“I call on the en­vi­ron­men­tal au­thor­i­ties to shoul­der their re­spon­si­bil­ity and de­cide ac­cord­ing to their con­science. You know who’s pay­ing for this cor­rup­tion? The pen­sion­ers and those in crit­i­cal con­di­tion get­ting ex­pired medicines.”

The PN leader listed case af­ter case of cor­rup­tion which came out only this week. He men­tioned the res­ig­na­tion of the Manuel Theatre CEO Pia Zam­mit and the case of Hen­ley and Part­ners com­mis­sions and how Min­is­ter Owen Bon­nici lied in Par­lia­ment. “The story on Dr Bon­nici does not stop here. To­mor­row, this same Min­is­ter will be ap­point­ing a for­mer deputy leader of the Labour Party as a judge in the Mal­tese ju­di­ciary.”

Lack of vi­sion in the en­ergy sec­tor will de­stroy lo­cal busi­nesses - PL

In a re­ac­tion, the Labour Party said that with the lack of vi­sion in the en­ergy sec­tor, the Na­tion­al­ist Party will be de­stroy­ing the lo­cal busi­nesses.

Re­fer­ring to Si­mon Busut­til’s claim that Malta does not need

the new power sta­tion, the PL is a state­ment said that the PN wants the pub­lic to spend more than 700 hours with­out elec­tric­ity. “Mean­while, this gov­ern­ment has man­aged to re­duce elec­tric­ity bills twice in a leg­is­la­ture.”

“The busi­nesses have enough guar­an­tee of sus­tain­abil­ity in the en­ergy pro­vided, while the util­ity bills are re­duced. With what the PN is say­ing, this guar­an­tee can­not be given.”

The PL also made ref­er­ence to the health sec­tor and said that this gov­ern­ment does not want to go back in time, when this sec­tor un­der the pre­vi­ous ad­min­is­tra­tion was rid­dled with out-of-stock medicines and beds in cor­ri­dors.

Si­mon Busut­til preach­ing a pol­i­tics of lies - Evarist Bar­tolo

Min­is­ter for Ed­u­ca­tion Evarist Bar­tolo also re­acted to the claims made by Si­mon Busut­til re­gard­ing his min­istry and ac­cused the Op­po­si­tion Leader for preach­ing a pol­i­tics of lies.

“We have said this pub­licly be­fore, that no case of cor­rup­tion was hid­den. The Min­istry took all the nec­es­sary ac­tion, un­like what would hap­pen un­der pre­vi­ous ad­min­is­tra­tion.”

The Min­is­ter was re­fer­ring to the case of Philip Rizzo, who re­signed from Head of To­mor­row’s School Foun­da­tion, claim­ing cor­rup­tion in the way school ren­o­va­tions di­rect or­ders were given.

In a state­ment, the Min­is­ter said that he came to know of the al­le­ga­tions in the be­gin­ning of Septem­ber and or­dered an in­ter­nal in­quiry so that the nec­es­sary ac­tion is taken. The case was taken to the po­lice, six weeks be­fore the me­dia re­ports came out.

Fur­ther­more, ac­cord­ing to the Min­is­ter, this ad­min­is­tra­tion also built a new school ev­ery year, un­like what the PN leader claimed.

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