Fabian Demicoli

GRTU insists that unfair competition must be stopped

GRTU has this week continued its campaign against the unfair
level playing that is being tolerated with goods coming into our country
through a number of known means and at no time are they subject to paying VAT
and Eco Contribution.

The situation has been left unchecked for a long time
and the problem has continued to deepen with such evasive practices becoming a
commonly known affair. The issue has widened also to include the service sector
with foreigners giving services and carrying out complete works in Malta and
the VAT is not paid in Malta as it should be and we very much doubt if the VAT
is paid in any member state at all.

GRTU had written to DG TAXUD on the issue. The
Commission officials told us that not only does the Maltese Government have the
right to carry out checks but it also has an obligation to do so under EU law
because the VAT is part of the EU taxation regime and the Maltese Government
was bound to collect it. Tolerating evasion gives an unfair advantage for those
abusing of the system not only for Maltese businesses but EU businesses as a
whole and distorts the Single Market.

GRTU President Paul Abela has had the opportunity to
raise the issue with a number of high ranking Government officials and we are
pleased to note the intention of the Administration of looking into the issue
has increased. GRTU raised the issue with the Minister for Finance Edward
Scicluna during an MCESD meeting held on Monday. Hon Scicluna said that
retail  sales, excluding sale of motor
vehicles, has gone down and the Government is unsure of the reason behind it.
GRTU emphasized that there are two reasons for this, online sales and
undeclared sales. Mr Abela urged the Minister to look into the issue and ensure
there are no two weights to measure and a fair situation is restored not just
for the benefit of enterprises but also for Government revenue purposes. The
Minister invited GRTU to meet and discuss this as the Government wants to find
a solution.

GRTU this week also met Transport Malta high ranking
officials and the Minister for Sustainable Development, the Environment and
Climate Change Leo Brincat with whom it once again raised the issue and on both
occasions both Government representatives were very forthcoming and showed
Government's intent to tackle the issue.

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