No taxes in upcoming budget, but fight against tax evasion to be strengthened – Minister of Finance / Malta News Briefing – Friday 23 September 2022

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The Times of Malta report that the police have sought US help on Bitcoin transfers between ex-Konrad Mizzi lawyer and Yorgen Fenech. Investigations by the police indicate that Mizzi’s former lawyer, Aron Mifsud Bonnici, transferred the bitcoins to Fenech on the same day he bought the firearms.

Maltatoday gives prominence to a study carried out by GWU, Graffiti and Alleanza kontra l-Faqar that found that a family of two adults and two children need €25,300 to live a decent life.

Newsbook says that despite calling for an end to devastation and the suffering of innocent civilians in Ukraine, unlike other leaders who used their address at the UN General Assembly this week to denounce Moscow’s aggression, Abela did not condemn Russia.

TVM reports that in August, the number of people who registered for work amounted to 922 people, which is 520 less than when compared to August of last year.

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No taxes in upcoming budget, but fight against tax evasion to be strengthened – Minister of Finance: Minister of Finance Clyde Caruana said that no taxes will be introduced in the upcoming budget despite the commitment to maintain the current levels of energy subsidies, insisting that the country is able to grow and generate enough of its own resources to cover the needs for the upcoming years. Addressing a Q&A session this morning, Caruana hinted at ‘painful’ decisions needed at Air Malta, suggesting that these were required to ensure a viable airline while paying for what he described as past mistakes. He said that the company could not keep losing between 40 to 50m euro a year. On the other hand, he argued that various economic sectors were doing well, including tourism and manufacturing, putting the government in a strong position to support the economy in time of crisis, and added that further revenue will be sourced through enhanced efficiency and the fight against tax evasion.

Scores arrested after raid on irregular migrants, drug operations: Some 50 people were arrested yesterday evening in Marsa anti-crime operation that covered illegal migration and drug trafficking. Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri said it was an irregular migration raid accompanied by an anti-drug and organised crime operation. The police said that the raid followed days of investigations and observation on the garages, from where drugs were allegedly being sold. (Times of Malta)

Keith Schembri charged with theft and misappropriation: Keith Schembri and Yorgen Fenech were among five people charged with theft and misappropriation in connection with a government job given to the self-confessed middleman in the 2017 murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, Melvin Theuma. The latter had claimed in court that five months before the murder took place, he had been given a job by Schembri with government. (Maltatoday)

Morning Briefing

Young people see education system as inadequate

Young persons have given a very negative assessment of the Maltese educational system. In a survey carried out by Freehour, an app popular with the younger generation, almost 82% of over 2,000 respondents said that the educational system has failed to prepare them for stress management while 74.3% felt the educational system has failed to prepare them for entrepreneurship. “Youths do not regard the local education system as one that is suited to individual or personal needs. In contrast, overall respondents considered their home environment to be adequate when it comes to instructing youths about managing finances, preparedness for employment, relationships, politics, and society,” FreeHour said in a statement. (Times of Malta / Freehour)

Journalists want reforms concerning the press to be open for consultation

Over 100 journalists, academics and activists have sent an open letter to Prime Minister Robert Abela insisting that reforms on journalism and freedom of expression that have been drafted in secret should at least be opened to an effective public consultation before they are presented as a fait accompli to Parliament. The reforms have been drafted in the wake of the damning findings of the public inquiry into the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, which found that the state must shoulder responsibility for her death. “We do not understand how freedom of expression can be safeguarded by laws that are drafted in secret”, the journalists argued in their letter. (The Malta Independent)

4.7m tourists needed to fill up all hotel beds

A study by the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association shows that Malta will need to bring in 4.7 million tourists to cater for planned increase of hotels. This is almost double the 2.8 million tourists Malta received before the Covid-19 pandemic. The study, carried out by Deloitte, argues that the drastic increase can negatively affect the quality of life for Maltese residents further. On the contrary, should these numbers not be achieved, there will be financial and economic repercussions. (Maltatoday)

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