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Last updated: 08 June, 2005 00:48

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Welcome - Merħba

Malta finally joined the European Community on the 1st May, 2004 amidst much fanfare and jubilation. Our current government has, for several years, battled the odds in its ardent aspiration toward achieving this goal for the tiny archipelago comprising primarily of the larger island of Malta and its smaller sister island, Gozo. A lot has had to be changed for us to qualify for full EU membership and several measures have had to be introduced to bring legislation and finance in line with EU requirements. VAT was introduced, duties on imported products largely removed, amongst many other changes.

Despite all this, there is still much work to be done. The Maltese language was accepted as one of the official languages of the EU, but no qualified translators and interpreters could be found to undertake the tasks of translating documents and interpreting reliably. Our financial situation is seriously in the red and it will take years of "belt-tightening" (sounds familiar, doesn't it? We've been doing it for years, since Mr. Mintoff's era in the 1970s) before this is improved.


ON THE APPLICATION OF THE GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF FREE MOVEMENT OF GOODS AND SERVICES - ARTICLES 28 AND 49 EC – CONCERNING THE USE OF SATELLITE DISHES

Brussels, 27.6.2001COM(2001) 351 final

In 2001, the European Commission published this document which is very explicit on the subject. It can be found here.

PETITIONS COMMISSIONER

There are EU channels open to the citizens who wish to lodge formal complaints. Click here for more information.
 

VAT ON VACCINES... and Toothpaste!!!

It is established that VACCINES, prescribed to prevent various serious and contagious diseases, are now subject to VAT (revised to 5%) because they are used for prevention not for treating disease! What's more, TOOTHPASTE & SUNTAN LOTION are considered luxury items, therefore, have become subject to the full force of 18% VAT!

Vile in the broadest sense!

What next? (VAT on Oxygen consumption from the air you breathe?)

 

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The rights of citizens still have a long way to go before they are respected; and in this context, one issue that sticks out like a sore thumb is the right to satellite reception across borders - the right to freedom of services. The Wireless Telegraphy Department (what an archaic name - probably may have actually inspired Signor Marconi!) has, since satellite dishes became available some years ago, imposed a tax of Lm25 which is called a "licence fee". This has to be paid annually and defaulters are fined a further Lm25! I won't mention the need of a permit and an architect's plan before one is allowed to install these dishes on one's own property e.g. the roof!

Notwithstanding the fact that EU Malta must now apply EU laws and regulations, this fee and the corresponding fine have not been repealed. People are still receiving the bill... and the threat... and the penalty! At present, the only way out is for one to refuse paying, await a court summons and let the Courts of Law decide the case*. So what is clear to most, is not so clear to our authorities! This will invariably result in much time wasted going to court and public money squandered on futile legal battles which most definitely will be won by Mr/s Maltese Citizen, at the expense of tax-payers' money.

Our new Prime Minister recently vowed to bring Malta out of the depths of its financial misery... but really, is this the way to go? Has it got something to do with our PM being a lawyer and not an accountant....? Perhaps I'm just too paranoid.

(22 May 2004)

 

The government has finally withdrawn this obnoxious fee and has refunded those that had had to pay it. But along similar defiant measures, the Maltese Government has introduced tax on travelling limiting residents' freedom of movement across the EU!

Read more...

Besides the fora (forums), you may e-mail me your comments in either English or Maltese. I retain the right to edit messages received and to publish what I consider to be suitable. Please be concise, constructive, factual and polite. I discourage anonymity.

Subjects:
*
Travel Tax     

* Satellite dish fees

     Page 1 - The bill

                 - Customer Services Column 1

                 - Joseph Muscat writes to

                    European Commission

     Page 4 - Il-Kummissjoni Ewropea qed

                    teżamina t-Taxxa fuq id-

                    Dixxijiet tas-Satellita

* Electric vehicles
* Tax issues

     Page 1 - Case decided in Tax payer's favour

     Page 2 - VAT on Vaccines

* Maltese translators/interpreters
* Technical terminology in Maltese

* Traffic

* Radju Bronja

    Kampanja Radju Bronja
* Rent laws
* Pensions
* Health reforms needed
* Education
* Wardens

* Weekend Televised Tombola

 

It is not clear that it is as much a crime to disturb the peace when truth prevails, as it is a crime to keep the peace when truth is violated.  Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)

Counter

Adrian Muscat Inglott

Consumer Affairs Web-site

 

Please be patient. The site is largely still under construction. Letters from the Maltese public and other local residents will help me to develop this web-site further. So type away and tell us what you think on the listed and other issues!

Disclaimer
I produce this site exercising my (and other contributors') right to freedom of expression and I cannot be held responsible in any way whatsoever especially on matters that are subject to dispute or interpretation and on material to be found on third party web-sites even though I have deliberately chosen to include the links to such sites on this web-site. I apologise to anyone who may feel injured or offended by anything that may appear on this web-site. My intention is
* to raise awareness of people's rights,
* to stimulate spirited debates on various issues and hopefully
* to bring about positive changes in our society.

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