Blog post by Fr David Muscat
On the 6th June, Manuel Delia published an article in The Times entitled “This side of a Tax Revolution” where he lavished praise on the attempts by a number of developed countries following US President Joe Biden’s lead, to promote corporate tax harmonisation to stop tax evasion around the world. Without going into any significant detail, Delia declared that such a move could adversely affect Malta in view of this country’s economy based effectively on its status as an offshore financial jurisdiction.
Manuel Delia’s eleventh-hour conversion and alignment with my opinions deserves praise. However his article lacks clarity on Malta’s tax status and it omits an important nuance, namely the true reason why offshore financial jurisdictions are a source of irritation for large developed economies.
In the first place, Catholics have not just woken up – unlike Manuel Delia – simply because the US President has just spoken on this issue. Christians have known for two thousand years that taxes ought to be paid as this has been taught by Saint Paul in his epistle to the Romans (chapter 13, verses 6-7): “Pay to all their dues, taxes to whom taxes are due, duties to whom duties are due”. Our Blessed Lord Jesus Christ twice reminds us to fulfil our fiscal obligations when He commanded Saint Peter to pay the Temple tax by means of the miracle recounted in Matthew 13, verses 24-27. This is in addition to his stricture: “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and unto God that which is God’s”. This latter statement was made in the context of the controversial political-religious dispute on whether the Jews had to pay taxes to their foreign overlords, the Romans.
Secondly, Christians have no need to invoke some pleading Gaia Mother Earth, facing so-called Climate Change as Delia does, to realise that greater levels of taxation are needed to combat climatic phenomena. A Christian fulfils his tax obligations as he obeys the Commandments to the letter including those which state “Thou shalt not steal”, “Thou shalt not bear false witness” and “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s goods”. This must also be understood within the context of Catholic social doctrine which makes the following clear: “The State would therefore be unjust and cruel if under the name of taxation, it was to deprive the private owner of more than is fair” (Pope Leo XIII, Rerum Novarum, no. 47).
Manuel Delia seems to be suggesting that all we Maltese have to do is to empower strong governments and strive for good governance and finally pay more taxes to save the world from an environmental catastrophe. Unfortunately these arguments resemble a PETA-soaked, pink, one-world government communist manifesto on how to save the polar bear from drowning in the arctic molten ice.
This is not the case because the entire Maltese economic model is morally wrong. Maltese economy is immoral not because the tax rate for overseas corporate shareholders is low, but because of the pretext of tax planning which is used by local financial service practitioners to assist foreigners to evade taxes. Hence, they reduce the tax revenues legitimately due to foreign governments by diverting them to Malta’s treasury. Meanwhile, many of these accountants and lawyers (many of whom are Nationalist turncoats) are content with the current situation as they earn significant fees for their services. Equally gleeful are local building contractors who have plastered the island with bricks, concrete and business park tower blocks on the backs of cheap imported labour to service an economy based on deceit. This constitutes the basis for Gonzi’s “Sound Finances” and Muscat’s “Success Economy”!
A particular Brussels clique will continue to combat tooth and nail any moves to harmonise corporate taxes throughout Europe and the world. I refer specifically to Roberta Metsola, Simon Busuttil and the Labour MEPs who are bereft of anything vaguely social democratic. They work towards this end as they ignore, nay violate Christ’s teaching and portray him as a mere social worker who has emerged from the University of Malta’s Faculty of Social Wellbeing wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt. The Faculty of Cultural Marxism would be a more appropriate title.
I’m very happy that Manuel Delia’s is slowly beginning to see the light but unless he directs his pen against this clique, this U-turn will be fruitless. Like many bourgeois Catholics, including mitred midgets, he tragically remains silent over this institutionalised theft (a sinful structure – see Sollicitudo Rei Socialis of Pope St. John Paul II (1987) and Laudato Si’ of Pope Francis (2015) because he does not want to irritate Metsola and the Freemasons.
Under her spell or perhaps scared by her, Manuel Delia seems to have lost his memory and has suffered the same fate as Ozzy Osbourne – The Ozzman Cometh – who once declared: “To be a liar, you’ve got to have a great memory, and I have no memory”. Manuel Delia thinks that we have forgotten that he was an insider when the Nationalists were in government and when the architects of Malta as an offshore centre under the auspices of Richard Cachia Caruana and other negotiators sought to secure exemptions when Malta acceded to the then European Community. The EC trusted us and enabled derogations for a Maltese centre for financial services to be developed. Joseph Muscat found the financial infrastructure already established when he came into office, and subsequently abused of the trust that Brussels gave us.
In these circumstances a thousand Ozzy Osbournes would be better than half of this Brussels clique. The former at least admits to have succumbed to diabolic influences and that he lost his memory. The latter resemble the Pharisees with their avarice, their stubborn pride and who follow their father the devil. Their condemnation will be very severe (Matthew 23, 14).