Up in Arms, a lobby group of expatriates living in Malta, has instructed tenants who live in Malta as their primary residence  to pay only the residential rate for their utilities. They are currently charged considerably more for utilities.

The lobby group this afternoon held a protest in sun-baked St George’s Square in Valletta.

Group founder Patricia Graham said foreigners living in Malta were being made to pay what is called ‘domestic rate’ which is about 45 per cent more than the ‘residential rate’”

“The two tier tariff is illegal under EU Law. It is illegal for ARMS to charge us 45 per cent more than our next door neighbour,” Ms Graham said.

 “This ripping people off in order to make money.” Why do we have to pay a different rate, it doesn’t t happen anywhere else in the EU.”

She said that landlords often do not endorse the Form H provided by Arms, which means that tenants will not be able to avail themselves of a residential tariff.

The group has been campaigning for four years. “It’s almost a full time job now,” said Ms Graham.

Last November, the group had been assured by Energy Minister Konrad Mizzi that all consumers will be treated as Maltese nationals with no differentiation in power and electricity tariffs.