Fabian Demicoli

Unfair Prices, Unfair Competition and Official Blessing

 GRTU sincerely asks what is going on. New shops have opened lately selling goods at prices that clearly demonstrates a taxation rip-off.

These shops have been opened with the full blessing of Government and with that of senior politicians. 

GRTU members are not stupid. We believe the Commission for VAT and Eco-contribution is not stupid either. We do not believe the Director of the office of fair trading is stupid. Then how is it that goods are being sold at prices below cost of the product or of the service?

Unless, of course, one managed to find the way to invent micro-waves, fridges or other electronic equipment in an abracadabra way. Our members however import these items and the cheapest are brought here from China.

The Commissioner of VAT and Eco-taxation does not have to be an Einstein to estimate the minimum price, ex-factory, the cost of freight and insurance to Maltese and cost of haulage to store, the retail cost, the cost of VAT, the value of taxation and the thinnest of profit margins; in order to establish the minimum at which an all tax included product can sell in Malta.

If a product is selling at a price which can not even cover VAT and Eco-taxation, isn’t it obvious that tax evasion is bluntly manifest? Does it have to be every time GRTU to wake up the authorities?

Eco-taxation and VAT evasion may please the consumer as he/she pays less, but is this now officially sanctioned. Who’s holding our enforcement agency from checking? The message that the authorities want to deliver is: charge the least even if this means that you cheat on Eco-tax and on VAT.

If Government has gone bonkers it is good for our members to know. We don’t like it but its not fair that few are blessed in their rip-offs and the rest pay the price.

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