In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Malta Chamber expressed its disappointment in the manner in which the current electoral campaign was developing insofar, as serious issues were not being given the deserved treatment, as they were being rendered political footballs for cheap points.
The Chamber was reacting to the way the debate about Malta’s fiscal structures was developing.
The press release noted that the threat of Malta’s current fiscal structures being put at risk, ought to be debated in a way that explains to the electorate how crucial it is that Malta maintains its current prerogative to design and determine its own taxation system and use it to attract investment in the light of its inherent limitations.
"The Chamber believes that Malta must be more positive and certainly united in facing the international pressures on its financial regulatory framework" the statement said.
The Chamber explained how Malta’s needs were different to those countries and regions in the centre of Europe. "Rather than for the principal aim of collecting revenue, Malta uses its fiscal structure as a necessary and legitimate tool to stimulate growth and overcome the island’s permanent natural disadvantages such as smallness and peripherality" the chamber stressed.
"The Malta Chamber cannot stress enough how sensitive and important this subject is. The Chamber calls on all MEP candidates as well as the electorate to treat this subject with the deserved caution."
The statement also referred to an article the Chamber had published earlier in 2019, were it had clearly and responsibly recommended “the forthcoming election is about selecting our best ambassadors to the European Parliament. In this vein, it is the Chamber’s view that the campaign be one that benefits Malta and brings out the best qualities of our candidates as opposed to one which is detrimental to our country and its reputation.”
In the same piece, the Chamber also warned “we must be mindful of the fact that in a globally-connected scenario, the world is watching. Anything we do and say is likely to be picked up and will raise our country’s profile in the global stage or used to hurt Malta’s reputation with the obvious negative repercussions.”
Expressing its dismay, the Chamber noted how its warnings had fallen on deaf ears as political exponents from both sides had given in to the temptation to rendering the debate on very serious matters as a game of political football.