Fabian Demicoli

Government’s proposed Rent Reform: The Rip-Off of the century!

 Thousands of small businesses will be robbed of what they are entitled to under the present laws if what Government is proposing is accepted by Parliament.

Whatever Minister John Dalli and his team of “experts” say, the current law gives tenants in commercial outlets an assurance which is as good as money in the Bank. What Government is proposing is to rob people of their wealth. It’s as simple as that.

GRTU does not accept what is being proposed by a Working Team that, in GRTU’s view, is incompetent on the main issue. The main issue is the safeguard successive Maltese Governments have given to the self employed and to small business owners that they will not be evicted of their rented business premises at the whim of the land owner.

What Government is proposing today is tantamount to requisition of private businesses by land owners without compensation. GRTU considers this to be a rip-off. The rip-off of the century.

Government is not even putting forward to compensate business owners for what is being taken away. Government does not even have an idea of how many thousands of business owners are going to be effected.

It is unbelievable that Government is proposing a reform and does not present any statistics whatsoever to prove and substantiate the arguments presented. They call is a White Paper. Its actually a Red Paper, the colour of shame.

GRTU is not for turning. What enterprise owners enjoy today is a safeguard that GRTU won for them over the years.

If Government wants to turn its back on small business owners and forget all the Nationalist Party’s past commitments to the self employed and small business owners, then they should be prepared to pay the heavy political price. Government on the other hand must be prepared to come forward to pay the heavy economic price to compensate those who by Act of Parliament will be robbed.

What GRTU will be demanding as compensation to tenants denied of their rights at law will be the highest ever recorded in Malta. Current estimates indicate tens of hundreds of millions.

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