Bernard Grech has refused to say how much the Nationalist Party owes in unpaid VAT, social security and income tax.

Replying to questions by Times of Malta, Grech said the amount is “confidential”.

The PN leader said payment plans to settle the tax dues are being respected.

Bernard Grech won't say how much the PN owes. Video: Jonathan Borg

He said these unpaid taxes went back “a number of years”.

“We will stick to our commitments. We have a fiscal obligation towards the Maltese population,” Grech said.

Times of Malta revealed last week how both PN and Labour owe over €5 million in unpaid VAT. Both parties reportedly also owe millions in unpaid income tax and social security contributions.

Media.Link, the PN’s media company, has said it is up to date with its income tax and social security repayment plans.

An evasive Robert Abela

Prime Minister Robert Abela was equally evasive when asked about his party’s unpaid taxes.

The prime minister declined to state whether income tax and social security contributions deducted from the Labour Party’s employees had been passed on to the taxman.

"I can only comment on what happened since January 2020”, Abela said, alluding to the date when he became party leader and prime minister, succeeding Joseph Muscat. 

Tax concerns among FATF greylisting causes

Lax enforcement of tax rules was singled out as one of the main reasons Malta was recently placed on a list of countries that are not doing enough to combat international financial crime.

The Financial Action Task Force in June placed Malta on the so-called grey list of untrustworthy financial jurisdictions, with the global watchdog saying failure to crack down on tax abusers was a leading concern.

Shortly after being greylisted, Malta signed up to a plan to improve its anti-money laundering regime and national experts are drawing up reforms in a bid to restore the country’s reputation.

Prime Minister Robert Abela was quick to call on the public to help the authorities clamp down on tax dodgers, saying the authorities needed help to weed out abusers.

Opposition leader Bernard Grech said only a Nationalist government would have the credibility necessary to get Malta off the grey list.

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