I. From today's Times:
More on the Flyaway Taxes.
"The government is considering excluding children from payment of the new Lm10 departure tax, which has pushed up the already high price of travel for Maltese. Parliamentary Secretary Tonio Fenech said when contacted that following a request by the Federated Association of Travel and Tourism Agents (FATTA), the government was looking at the possibility of reworking the tax but he stressed he could not give any guarantee.
After an informal meeting of EU finance ministers last month in Luxembourg, certain states agreed to impose a levy on air travel to fund development aid in Africa. According to EU rules, a new tax can only be introduced following unanimous agreement.
The Maltese government made it clear it was against the introduction of any such tax and therefore argued with FATTA that imposing a new tax on tourism could be deemed as contradictory in this respect. FATTA president Ian Tonna said the association expressed fears that the new tax would hurt outbound travel. "The Prime Minister understood our concerns but he asked us to take the entire fiscal picture into consideration," he said."
Headless planning or what? We do not introduce a uniform tax on inbound and outbound travel because it is manifestly anti-EU (unless introduced for helping Africa and who wants to help the boat people anyway?*) BUT we introduce a tax on all Maltese leaving the island (take note Fausto... we need the "right to travel" law).
It would be unethical on my part to comment on the legitimacy of the law under EU legislation - I might have to work on such a case in the future. What is interesting to me is the PM's comment...
We look at the fiscal picture (ooh! that's an ugly one innit!) and then we are supposed to understand and accept that this kind of tax is necessary to solve the mega-deficit.
Carry on... Up the Taxes!
* Note: The boat people comment was sarcastic. Just in case you did not notice and decided I had converted to vivamaltism.
II. Prevention is better than Cure
Alfred Sant's Wednesday special today is entitled Prophylaxis. That's one step away from a prophylactic. Are we to assume that Sant's government will have a prophylactic effect on the country? Is that in the sense of a cure or a prevention of disease... or is it simply the rubber kind? methinks he must change this trend of Pr words.... running out of vocab... stretching it too much.... and a stretched prophylactic might not be the safest thing around.
Mark did not want to blog about AS's article. He claimed he is (a) above it, and (b) (more reasonably) he would not write anything against one of his idols. Speaking of his idols, I found a pic which would join the two together... Sant's article and that obscure singer Morrissey (another sarcastic comment for those of you who keep on replying that Morrissey is not obscure)....
"Let the right one slip in" - Morrissey
(The Obscure Prophylactic Album)