Finance Minister Edward Scicluna said that the latest tax proposal by Germany and France on digital advertising by big international companies had to be evaluated objectively.
Speaking at the ECOFIN meeting on the Digital Services Tax, Prof. Scicluna also underlined the importance of unanimity—a principle enshrined in the Treaties of the Union—on tax matters.
France and Germany presented revised plans for the EU’s proposed digital tax reforms under which large firms would pay a levy only on advertising sales and not on total revenues, representing a significant reduction of the Commission’s original scope.
At the ECOFIN meeting, the proposals under the Banking Union Package were also discussed. These proposals are aimed at reducing risks for banks such as the prevailing issue of non-performing loans.
Prof. Scicluna stated that reaching an agreement on the Banking Package is a key deliverable that was agreed upon in 2016 and should therefore unblock the path for further measures to strengthening the Banking Union.
He thanked the Austrian presidency of the Council of the EU for addressing a specific issue which Malta had as a result of its limited and illiquid market for subordinated liabilities. “The proposed solution in that respect gives the necessary consideration to the realities of smaller member states.”
Minister Scicluna also participated in the marathon Eurogroup meeting which met on Monday to conclude its position to strengthen the European Monetary Union.
Earlier in the meeting, the Eurogroup approved the draft budgetary plans of its members, including the Maltese draft budget, which was deemed fully compliant with the rules of the Growth and Stability Pact.