Debate the tax regime in parliament, not Xarabank

The Prime Minister’s backtracking on the 6/7 tax rebate regime reveals an error of judgement in opening a can of worms in the wrong forum.

The said regime was designed to attract foreign companies with an export orientation: gaming, financial services and the like. It was never intended to lead to the distortion of competition between two pizzerias on the same street, with the foreign-owned affording a cheaper menu thanks to the rebate.

The matter does, in my view, require expedient debate in the house of representatives assisted by sound expert advice given the highly delicate balance to be struck for such a system (and amendments thereto) not to contravene non-discrimination and free movement rules.

If we want politics to inspire more public trust, we should allow our institutions to rise up to their potential. In this case, a solutions-oriented discussion in the relevant parliamentary committee would be more fruitful than partial declarations on Xarabank!