“Removal of tax exemptions will have serious repercussions” – Minister Scicluna

Credit: MFIN

Minister for Finance Edward Scicluna stated that the removal of tax exemptions on aviation and shipping fuels will have serious repercussions on many member states, including Malta, unless tackled internationally.

This was said during the Informal ECOFIN meeting which was held in Helsinki, Finland on Friday 13th and Saturday 14th of September.

Scicluna stated that while Malta is aware that the Energy Taxation Directive needs to be updated to reflect present-day realities, and to help promote the use of renewable and clean energy sources, the removal of tax exemptions on aviation and shipping fuels will have serious repercussions on many member states, including Malta, unless tackled internationally. He added that ships will bunker tax-free outside the EU waters while new aviation taxes would hamper connectivity of peripheral regions.

Whilst discussing Fiscal Rules, Minister Scicluna remarked that there are elements of the fiscal framework which need to be reviewed, including the overreliance on unobservable indicators such as the output gap, and the complexity of the rules.

The Informal ECOFIN was preceded by a Eurogroup meeting, where Ministers held an exchange of views on the quality of public finances, focusing in particular on public investment.

Minister Scicluna was accompanied by the Permanent Secretary Alfred Camilleri.