The Labour Party has accused the Nationalist Party of planning to slash tax rates for the wealthy while stopping tax refund cheques for average workers.

Addressing a press conference at the party's headquarters in Ħamrun, Finance Minister Clyde Caruana noted that the PN has said, through its electoral programme, that it will be giving people some sort of tax credit, while reducing tax for those earning more than €60,000.

"This is the classical case of robbing Peter to pay Paul. They will steal money from a wide category of workers to give it to a smaller group of people. I don't know whether this was a mistake or purposely intended this way. I'm more inclined to believe in the latter as it's clearly written down."

The PN first announced its plans to slash tax rates for income over €60,000 last year, when Bernard Grech gave his official reaction to the Budget. 

Caruana said that by stopping tax refund cheques, the PN would be taking money away from 96% of workers - those earning less than €60,000 - to distribute it to the remaining 4%, Caruana said.

"The promise of reducing the tax rate for those earning more than €60,000 from 35% to 25% will cost €21 million. That €21 million will be taken from the cheques we give to families," he said. 

If the PN's proposals were implemented, 50% of workers (115,000 people) would end up with at least €30 less in their pockets, he added.

Nationalist Party candidate Jason Azzopardi, speaking at a separate press conference on Tuesday, said Labour claims about the PN's tax refund stance was "fake news" as the PN's tax credit plans would leave more money in people's pockets than the PL's tax refund cheques. 

Addressing the same PL conference, MP and candidate Andy Ellul said a PL government had decreased the tax burden every year since 2013.

This led to the highest number of employed people and the lowest rate of unemployment.

“We are going to keep this up and hand out more generous cheques: €165 for workers on married computation tax rates, €160 to parents and €150 for single workers. We will also be widening the lower tax band by €1,700."

Sign up to our free newsletters

Get the best updates straight to your inbox:
Please select at least one mailing list.

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By subscribing, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing.