News | Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Financial sector up in arms over no consultation to bill

Karl Stagno-Navarra

The financial sector is up in arms with government over a bill that was apparently drafted without any consultation and allegedly carries with it a series of implications for family run businesses.
According to sources within the financial sector, the bill known as the ‘Act to implement Budget measures for the financial year 2010 and other administrative measures’ was apparently drafted by the Finance ministry without any consultation with professional bodies.
“We are seriously concerned about the implications of this Bill that will definitely have an effect on international business, not to also mention family run companies,” said an experienced auditor and accountant.
Financial experts have pointed out that the Bill proposes changes to the taxation regime that regulates the transfer of shares and taxes shareholders on succession.
“The Bill could be seen as to upset the whole scope of the Malta Stock Exchange as it will stray businesses from listing on the exchange, given the proposal for including capital gains tax on the transfer of shares,”another expert said, while adding that the Bill “possibly defeats the whole purpose of the Stock Exchange.”
Meanwhile, a Finance Ministry spokesman told this paper that a number of clarification requests have been received by government over the Bill.
“We are looking into the issues raised and we can confirm that some meetings are currently being held with professional bodies to address their concerns,” he concluded.



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25 November 2009


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