The budget will tackle tax repayment agreements which are not honoured,  Finance Minister Clyde Caruana said on Tuesday when asked about political party media companies that owe millions in unpaid tax. 

Earlier this month, Times of Malta revealed how the Labour Party’s ONE and the Nationalist Party’s Media.Link owe more than €5 million between them in unpaid VAT and have been warned to settle their dues.

Asked about it on Tuesday, Caruana said that in the October budget he will announce measures to address companies with tax arrears.

This, he suggested, would include media companies that are owned by Malta’s two main political parties. 

Video: Chris Sant Fournier.

“With respect to what happens to political party media, in the budget I will also deliver a message of how we are going to tackle tax arrears,” he said.

Recently both political media companies received a formal notice from tax officials after repeatedly failing to honour agreements to settle years of unpaid VAT. 

Responding to questions, Caruana on Tuesday told Times of Malta that the government can honour its commitment not to increase taxes only if it starts to address tax evasion and other leaks.  

“There are enough resources, but unfortunately not all of this ends up in the government’s coffers," he said.  

He was speaking om the sidelines of the launch of a pre-budget document during which he said the government plans to come down hard on VAT evasion. 

Caruana said that in the budget speech, set for October 11, he will give clear direction on how the government plans to stem these tax leaks.  

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