Change in corporate tax reform major concern for investors – survey / Malta News Briefing – Wednesday 25 October 2023

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Updated 1205

Change in corporate tax reform major concern for investors – EY
The primary concerns for foreign investors in Malta, as highlighted by the EY Malta Attractiveness Survey, include impending changes to the country’s tax system due to shifts in global tax policies, a deficiency of skilled workforce, and ongoing apprehensions about Malta’s image. Among the companies surveyed, 61% expressed worry over the forthcoming tax reforms, making it the foremost risk, followed by a shortage of skilled personnel (48%) and concerns regarding Malta’s reputation (37%). A remarkable 86% of respondents indicated that they view Malta’s readiness for future population expansion as insufficient, while a mere 6% believed the country is adequately equipped for this challenge. Notwithstanding these apprehensions, Malta’s appeal to foreign investors showed minimal change compared to the previous year, maintaining a 59% rating, marking just a one-percentage-point increase from the previous year. (Times of Malta)

Former PM says Steward deal failed because of vested interests

Former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat continued to support the hospitals’ deal that was annulled by the courts, expressing his enduring belief in the potential benefits of the agreement. He also mentioned that the project’s complete realisation faced unspecified “various challenges.” Muscat’s response came after a court of appeal upheld the original ruling from Monday, which declared the contractual agreement between the Government of Malta and Steward (formerly Vitals) “void due to failure to meet certain milestones, resulting in breaches of the contract.” Hidden vested interests opposing the modernisation and proper oversight of our national healthcare systems played a significant role in obstructing the complete implementation of the Public-Private Partnership, Muscat insisted. (Maltatoday)

Six face charges related to disappearence of SVPR resident

Six individuals are facing police charges related to the disappearance and death of 83-year-old St Vincent De Paul resident Carmelo Fino. The case has caused shock in the community and will be heard by Magistrate Marse-Ann Farrugia early next year. Reports indicate that the charges involve staff members at the elderly home, particularly security personnel and nurses. The charges range from involuntary homicide to neglect, raising concerns about the care at St Vincent De Paul. Carmelo Fino disappeared from the care home on June 28, 2022, and was discovered deceased weeks later. (Newsbook)

Morning Briefing

AI software shows half of businesses are not VAT complaint – Minister

The initial findings of an AI-powered software program have revealed that over half of businesses in Malta are failing to meet VAT compliance standards. Finance Minister Clyde Caruana reported that the preliminary results from a sample of companies, received by the ministry last week, have confirmed suspicions of widespread tax evasion. During a business breakfast event organized by the Times of Malta, Minister Caruana disclosed, “In the first round of tests, approximately 40-45% of companies demonstrate full compliance, while the majority exhibit irregularities.” He acknowledged the high percentage of non-compliant businesses but expressed no surprise. This IT software, already operational in the UK, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Ireland, and Canada, is set to evaluate VAT returns by the end of the current year and expand its assessment to encompass all other tax types within the next three years. (Times of Malta)

Inflation edges up in September – NSO

In September, inflation saw a slight uptick, rising from 4% in the previous month to 4.1%, according to the National Statistics Office’s report on Tuesday. Notably, food prices experienced the most significant annual surge. The Retail Price Index (RPI) revealed that food prices surged by 8.8%. When considering food items excluding restaurant services and take-out meals, they exhibited an annual increase of 9.5%, whereas restaurant services and take-out options showed a slightly lower annual rate of 6.7%. The second-highest annual increase was observed in the housing category, standing at 8.1%. (Maltatoday)

No police investigation in hospital deal – Grech

Following a meeting with Police Commissioner Angelo Gafa, Opposition Leader Bernard Grech stated that the police are not pursuing an independent inquiry distinct from the ongoing Magisterial investigation concerning the hospitals deal. “The commissioner confirmed with us that he and the police force are not conducting a separate investigation from the Magisterial Inquiry [looking] into the fraud, theft from our hospitals, regarding the collusion that occurred between high government officials and those who were given the hospitals and €400 million from the people’s funds”, Grech remarked. The PN leader explained that following Monday’s court judgment, “there are people who have no interest in justice being served”. (The Malta Independent)

Once you're here...