A discrepancy between the declared €58,000 income from his role as chairman of a regulator body and the €18,000 mentioned by the government “must be a mistake”, former Labour minister Manuel Mallia said.

Earlier this year, Times of Malta reported that the Labour MP was given various political appointments since the last election, boosting his income by about €100,000.

A government spokeswoman had told the newspaper, Dr Mallia received an annual honorarium of €18,000 and a car allowance of €4,659 as the Occupational Health and Safety Authority chairman.

However, according to a declaration of interests he filed in terms of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly’s code of ethics, he had received €58,000 from the post. Dr Mallia described the frequency of the work he carried out for the OHSA as “occasional”.

I carry out no other work for the OHSA

When the discrepancy was pointed out to him and asked whether he carried out any other work for the OHSA that justified the additional income, Dr Mallia replied: “It must be a mistake. I carry out no other work for the OHSA and have no other income except that indicated by you as chairman plus car allowance.”

In his declaration, Dr Mallia also refers to the fact that he was put on the government’s payroll as a person of trust at the Prime Minister’s Office, for which, according to information furnished by the government, he enjoys a financial package of €56,000.

Signed by Dr Mallia at the end of last month, the declaration includes a clause stating that the information in it was made “in good faith, under [his] sole and personal responsibility”.

Dr Mallia chairs the Maltese delegation to the Council of Europe and sits on the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights.

Dr Mallia, who for years was one of the closest political aides to members of the Nationalist Party, switched political allegiances before the 2013 election when he was elected to Parliament on the Labour ticket. He was then appointed minister for national security and home affairs but was sacked after his driver was involved in a shooting incident when his ministerial car was damaged by another vehicle.

He is considered to be the richest MP in his group and, according to his declarations of assets, he holds about €2 million in various investments and bank accounts and owns seven properties, including one in Romania. Dr Mallia’s income from rent surpasses the €150,000 mark annually.

claire.caruana@timesofmalta.com