Malta News Briefing – Wednesday 1 November 2023

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Morning Briefing

Tax revenue tops half a billion in 2022

Tax revenues in 2022 increased by €503.2 million over the previous year, reaching a total of €5,098.7 million, the NSO said. Tax revenues represented 86.7% of the total generated government revenue collected in 2022. Direct taxes amounted to €2,285.2 million, making up 44.8% of the overall tax revenue. This represented an increase of €203.2 million compared to 2021. Conversely, personal income tax rose by €232.8 million, while Corporate Income Tax, on the contrary, dropped by €38.3 million over the previous year. Indirect taxes amounted to €1,822.8 million, an increase of €224.2 million when compared to 2021. This is equivalent to 35.8% of the total tax revenue. (Maltatoday)

Judge allows Yorgen Fenech to call Darren Debono, Ram Tumuluri as defence witnesses

A judge has ruled that the former director of Vitals Global Healthcare, Ram Tumuluri, and the former footballer turned accused fuel smuggler, Darren Debono, will be included as defence witnesses in Yorgen Fenech’s jury trial. Earlier today, in the Criminal Court presided over by Madam Justice Edwina Grima, some of the requests made by Fenech’s defense team in applications filed earlier this month were approved, while others were denied. Fenech’s legal team is casting doubt on the evidence suggesting the involvement of Keith Schembri and others in the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia. During the final pre-trial hearing, Fenech’s lawyers argued that Keith Schembri had allegedly attempted to frame Darren Debono for Caruana Galizia’s murder and implied that Tumuluri might have information regarding Schembri’s alleged connection to the assassination. (The Malta Independent)

PM, PN react to Budget 2024
On the day after the presentation of the 2024 Budget, Prime Minister Robert Abela convened the Cabinet of Ministers, in the course of which he urged Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries to work and implement the measures outlined on Monday. Dr Abela described the budget for next year as a strong budget. The Prime Minister added that he wants to see the energy expended in its drawing up translated into its implementation. On the other hand, in a press conference, Jerome Caruana Cilia, the Nationalist Party Spokesman for Finance, expressed that the budget unveiled yesterday lacks a clear vision, much like previous budgets put forward by the Labour Government. He went on to emphasize that this deficiency stems from the government’s failure to address pressing issues such as the cost of living crisis, traffic congestion, waste management problems, neglect of public spaces, an unstructured population, and a dearth of effective governance. (TVM)

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