Fabian Demicoli

GRTU Expresses Solidarity with Dr. Harry Vassallo

GRTU expresses its complete solidarity with Dr. Harry Vassallo. Dr. Vassallo is a victim of a draconian law against which GRTU has been protesting since the introduction of VAT. It reflects an outdated mentality that anyone in business deserves to be treated badly. GRTU was satisfied that it's pressure to change the law was partially met when the law was amended in 2007 following pressure by GRTU on Government. The amendment to the law however was not sufficient to cover all cases that were in the fault under the law prior to it's amendment and in spite of GRTU pressure no action was taken to remedy the situation. Dr. Harry's Vassallo's case is one of many others that are victims of many legally imposed fines that continue to be treated as criminal rather than civil non-compliance.

Fines resulting from non-compliance, unless of a nature that endangers life, should remain civil and not criminal. Today there are many business owners who may receive the police call that Dr. Vassallo received. Every day that action of a draconian nature as suffered by Dr. Vassallo remains possible represents another day of shame for our country and an insult to the business community.

It is a shame also that so many pardons are given rather than introducing further amendments to the VAT law and other laws that impose fines that are impossible to meet and grossly unjust. It is also a shame that Government continues to apply a pardoning system that is selective, unjust and a travesty of justice when an amendment of the law is more efficient and appropriate.

GRTU appeals for the earliest introduction of all necessary amendments to the VAT act, the income tax act and other laws that impose unjust and cruel penalties on businesses. A country whose economy depends on the endeavors of private business investors should appreciate much stronger the commitment of the business community for the further development of our country.


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