Malta’s corporate tax third highest in the world, study finds / Malta News Briefing – Monday 16 January 2023

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Updated 1800 – Afternoon Portal Review

Newsbook quotes an international study which found that Malta’s corporate tax rate is among the highest in the world. At 35%, Malta’s direct tax imposed on the income or capital of corporations and businesses was only surpassed by the volcanic archipelago off of Africa’s East coast, Comoros (50%) and the small South American country, Suriname (36%).

The Times of Malta reports that a man who was repeatedly denied bail while awaiting trial for a double murder over two years ago has claimed the state has breached his rights by failing to introduce electronic tagging as an alternative to detention.

Maltatoday leads with a warning by a pro-choice coalition which said that changes to abortion Bill that risk creating barriers to treatment. oice for Choice says Bill 28 that decriminalises abortion if a woman’s life or health is at risk should pass as is, warning that any other legal obligations placed on doctors will be of no clinical benefit to the patient.

The Malta Independent reports that the amendment to the abortion bill will be discussed once the Consideration of Bills committee has finished debating the bill to amend the Standards in Public Life Act, which would take “a few days or weeks,” according to Health Minister Chris Fearne.

TVM reports that the Court of Appeal presided by three judges has confirmed a judgement of the first court and ordered a couple to move out of their daughter’s house in Swieqi within two months. In court it emerged that the trouble started when the daughter began a relationship with another woman and her parents made “her life hell”.

Updated 1230

Drink-driving charges for St Venera mayor

The mayor of Santa Venera is being charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and that he did not allow two wardens to conduct a breathalyzer test. Stephen Sultana, a Labour mayor and CEO of Sir Paul Boffa Hospital, categorically denies all allegations. He says that he actually chastised the LESA officials for slacking on their job, insisting that no breathylser test was requested of him. (Times of Malta)

Planning Authority wants Social Impact Assessment on Gozo airstrip

The Planning Authority has requested the Gozo Ministry to prepare a Social Impact Assessment (SIA) on the impact of the proposed airstrip on nearby communities in Xewkija and Għajnsielem. The local plan states that an airstrip for a fixed-wing aircraft should only be considered following a number of studies including a social impact assessment. (Maltatoday)

Government in discussions with the Civil Society Committee on public transport

The Ministry for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects and the Parliamentary Secretariat for Social Dialogue hosted the Civil Society Committee (CSC) within MCESD to discuss their proposals for the improvement of the bus service in our country. In light of free public transport, increases in demand, and the fact that the transport ministry together with the operator and the regulator is analysing routes, frequencies and the number of buses the country needs in order to ensure that the public has a realistic choice between using their private car or using public transport, a number of meetings with social partners have commenced in order to discuss any necessary changes.

Morning Briefing

Ombudsman says investigations ignored by Parliament

Outgoing Ombudsman Anthony Mifsud has called for changes to the law to stop parliament’s “lack of respect” towards his office, after it ignored all the 35 investigations he tabled in the last three years. “After more than 27 years, the provisions of the Ombudsman Act (to turn to parliament for action on its investigations) remain a dead letter. There has never been the political will to discuss and even less implement them. It not only shows a lack of respect for the institution but for the very law,” Mifsud told the Times of Malta.

40kg cocaine intercepted by Customs

Customs Malta has intercepted 40 kilograms of cocaine in a reefer container en-route from Puerto Rico to Cairo. The drugs, which were found in 40 packets each containing approximately one kilogram, were concealed in a compartment known as the reefer-area of the container which was transporting a shipment of medical products. (Maltatoday)

Malta’s neutrality should not stop condemnation of Russia’s invasion

Malta’s neutrality should not stop the country from condemning Russia’s actions, Foreign Affairs Minister Ian Borg told The Malta Independent on Sunday.
Russia, he said, decided to invade Ukraine without any provocation when the world was emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic and the war has resulted in a humanitarian crisis. Minister Borg was speaking in an interview during which he was asked about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, migration and also about Malta’s recent election to the UN Security Council. (The Malta Independent)

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