dimanche, juillet 31, 2005

A taxing question

So the government is planning a tax review. The same geeks who think that the current departure tax is a good thing will be reviewing most of the tax system and coming up with a few more gems I'm sure. Not only will the government go on thinking that it knows best what the people really want but we will also solve another problem... Santino will return to what he can do best... depicting the Doom & Gloom scenario which will lead to people electing him simply to shut his mouth and see if he can get a try at solving it.

Which he will not of course. Because just like the Nationalists, the Labourites have absolutely no clue on how to go about rebuilding the country's economic status. Risanificazione. That is a no-go area.

But back to the PN government's new tax ventures. The document is entitled "Biex Int Tghix Ahjar"* and should have been subtitled "Gewwa Malta... ghax i**abbab tohrog minn hawn bit-taxxi li ghamilna"**. We learn that the government is planning to "engineer a shift from direct taxation towards environment-related taxation as part of a review of the entire tax system." Considering that this government could not engineer its way out of a 200 metre bridge in regional road I think we should read that there will be less direct taxation but we will reinvent the wheel in what we like to con ourselves to be environment taxation. Ah... and the idea is to introduce concepts such as the polluter-pays principle. Introduce? In 2005? (My bet is AD have been pushing for this since the early 90's).

Stipends will no longer be uniform but will be moulded to the course in question. Hold on. Did he say tailor made to each course? Eureka! As president of KSU in 1999 (that's six years ago) I presided over one of the most detailed surveys/ censuses of the University population's needs. The result was a document that broke down the needs of every student in the minutest of courses at University. What was our aim? To suggest to the government that, among other things, stipends should be course based. Was it heeded? No. Now it seems to be a valuable option. Good luck ... you need to dig deep to do that well. Six years late buit as they say... better late than.... [selfish bracket aside... law students will be among those worse hit with this kind of system... no direct equipment costs and law books are negiligible].

Then the rental market. Now the government wants to stimulate the rental market. Hallo? One of the big criticisms directed at AD's referendum campaign is that they instigate rental instead of ownership. Now some big dildo in the tax department wants to stimulate the rental market? Another copied leaf... contradictory but good. Fausto? In case you havce any doubts here is what government plans to do ... "Government is considering the establishment of an advantageous final withholding tax regime for rental income to incentivise the inclusion of additional housing in the rental market." To me this means the government means more rent. Now I was never good at taxes (never good at things I do not like) so correct me if I am wrong.

There will be a study on the privatisation of certain sources of energy. I read we will privatise gas cylinder distribution. There is a mention of a possible revision on "bank property lending terms" - do I read make it more difficult to buy your house? Reduce the dependence on loans in our society?

Family planning might risk being affected again with a new revision of the children's allowance. Will we be asked to go forth and procreate or forced to roll on the rubber?

Air Malta will float on the stock exchange... possibly in the hope that it will sink on its own eventually.

There you go. PN Pre-Budget Document 2005.

That's KSU 1999 and AD 1990s to us.

Happy Taxing to all!

* So that you can live better
** In Malta... where else could you go with these bloody taxes?

10 commentaires:

Anonyme a dit…

SITUATION VACANT Minister of Finance. Only know-all expats disillusioned with the world need apply.

Now there's a thought....

Jacques René Zammit a dit…

Anonyomous Poster on Blogs.

Requirements: Lacks valid arguments. No need to understand content of posts. Just capable of writing random comments that avoid the argument completely.

Now THERE is a thought....

meanwhile Mr/Mrs Anonymous... any real arguments about where you may think I was wrong (or disagree with me) would be appreciated... otherwise your simplistic sarcasm might just (only just) give the impression that I touched an exposed nerve...

It must hurt. When your party is squishing in the mud from one foot to another and you cannot come up with any valid argument to defend its action. The sadness of it all is that you still feel the urge to do so even when you see it is not exactly logical. Fanaticism.

And drop the anonymity for godssake!

Fausto Majistral a dit…

One of the big criticisms directed at AD's referendum campaign is that they instigate rental instead of ownership.

"Big"? If by "big" you mean "widespread" please tell me who has been advancing this criticism because I do not recall anyone doing so. Only the Greens have been making a causal connection between the wholesale removal of the 1939/1949 protection for tenants and increased supply of housing stock for rent.

Fausto Majistral a dit…

You are right on the environmental "taxes" issue ... for all the wrong reasons.

I always though that direct taxes being made up for by environmental "taxes" belonged firmly to the Green lunatic fringe. Unfortunately, from thsi document it does not seem to be the case. The problem is that unlike, say, income tax, environmental taxes are more like fines -- they penalise a kind of behaviour. Governments introduce income tax not as a disincentive to income whereas they do so with environmenal taxes.

Btw, the Greens might have been pro-polluter-pays-principle. But they changed their minds sometime in 2005.

MaltaGirl a dit…

"Taxation is just a sophisticated way of demanding money with menaces"... Terry Pratchett, Night Watch.

bocca a dit…

sorry didn't mean to be anon!!!!!!! thought my name had come up!! just a touch of mild leg pulling - lighten up, ras

Kenneth a dit…

Anonyomous Poster on Blogs."

I was going to tell you to disallow anonymous comments, but for a moment there I had forgotten that it will also ban those users who will supply a name using the "Other" identity.

Kenneth a dit…

In fact, there's one user of the "Other" identity :P

bocca a dit…


Jacques René Zammit a dit…

Ok OK I overshot with the reaction. It was the "disillusioned with the world" that got at me. That is apart from the anonimity of the comment which always always gets on my nerves.

No need to apologise. Had your name been there I would have been able to distinguish leg pulling from islander moaning. Anyway... still no arguments in favour of the plan "biex nghixu ahjar"!

PS whoever is luxembourg and reads this blog...get your ass to Teppan Yaki in rue de beggen. A japanese resto with character... not one but many... a good laugh and good food to boot.