PM says he won’t interfere in Vitals investigation / Malta News Dispatch – Saturday 20 May 2023

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PM says he won’t interfere in Vitals investigation

Prime Minister Robert Abela has declined to provide comments regarding Joseph Muscat’s connections to VGH Europe and the nullified hospitals agreement, emphasizing the importance of non-interference in ongoing investigations. Abela stated that he believes his words should not influence the investigative process concerning Steward and VGH. He further mentioned that, as the prime minister, he bears the responsibility of avoiding any additional confusion and therefore chose not to elaborate further. (Times of Malta)

Sliema resident imprisoned on repeat fraud, theft offences

A 25-year-old Algerian resident of Sliema has been sentenced to a two-year imprisonment for admitting guilt in theft, fraud, and violating court-imposed conditions after being found guilty of a previous offense and labeled as a repeat offender. Adem Djouambi stood before Duty Magistrate Victor Axiaq and was charged with stealing a bag in Pembroke on April 24. The bag contained a credit card, identification documents, a wallet containing €200, and a ring, all belonging to the bag’s owner. Additionally, he later utilized the stolen items on the same day and proceeded to steal a mobile phone from an establishment in St Julian’s. (Maltatoday)

Man hospitalised after Luqa fall

A man has been taken to the hospital after falling from a height in Ħal Luqa. Reports indicate that the incident occurred near Triq l-Igrett l-Isfar at around 10:45 am on Saturday. The police and the Civil Protection Department were present at the scene to offer assistance.

Morning Briefing

Malta needs new tax system for next three decades – Clyde Caruana

Finance Minister Clyde Caruana expressed the need to reform Malta’s 30-year-old tax regime to ensure its effectiveness for the next three decades. Addressing a conference hosted by the IFSP, the Minister emphasized the importance of maintaining appeal for foreign direct investment and highlighted the goal of creating a streamlined tax collection service. Caruana additionally stated that the government’s commitmen to fiscal consolidation after the pandemic-related expenditure, along with its energy price subsidy, should safeguard the Maltese economy against any potential shocks. He further emphasized the principle that what needs to be collected in taxes must be paid. (Malatoday)

MEA, SME Chamber agree with proposal not to tax COLA

According to employers’ and small business lobby groups, it would benefit both employers and workers if the government ceased taxing the cost of living adjustment (COLA). However, these groups also emphasize that additional measures are necessary to tackle the economic challenges faced by the country. Joe Farrugia, the director-general of the Malta Employers’ Association, and Abigail Agius Mamo, the CEO of the Chamber of SMEs, expressed their views in response to comments made by PN leader Bernard Grech on Sunday. Grech called on the government to eliminate taxation on COLA, implement fiscal incentives to prevent price increases by employers, and mitigate shipping costs for importers and exporters. (Times of Malta)

Malta has lowest access to new medicines – report

Malta has the lowest access to newly approved innovative medicines in the European Union (EU) from 2018 until the end of 2021 according to a new report. Out of the 168 pharmaceuticals granted marketing authorization by the European Commission, only 10 were accessible in Malta as of January 5. The report was jointly conducted by the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) and healthcare consultants (IQVIA). Among these 10 medicines, only four were freely available to all patients utilizing the public health service, while the remaining six were accessible on a case-by-case basis without cost. (Times of Malta)

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