18 July 2001
If this is the case then this is a major coup for those politicians who have been calling for a more transparent and fiscal morality.
It is the departments practice to weigh the receipts every month and Mr Muscat told The Malta Business and Financial Times that the weight has been increasing month after month.
Last November the VAT receipts lottery passed on to the Lotto Department. The lottery was revamped making it more attractive for people to participate in. Ever since November the department has seen a consistent increase in the publics response, which Mr Muscat described as excellent.
People have to send in their VAT receipts with their name and ID card number written on the back of each receipt. The receipts have to reach the Lotto Department by the 10th of each month to be eligible to participate in the draw.
Mr Muscat attributes the success of the lottery to three principle reasons. The first obvious reason is that participation is free of charge. "All that people need to do is send in VAT receipts. You can go and take a coffee and end up with Lm100 in your pocket," Mr Muscat remarked.
The second reason concerns the way the lottery is structured. Mr Muscat
believes that the new concept is more transparent and easier for people
to understand. One lottery comprising both fiscal and manual receipts
is drawn every month with the lowest prise to be won standing at Lm100
and the highest standing at Lm5,000. The total prize money is Lm25,000.
The publics increased participation in the lottery may have made a positive contribution towards governments revenue collection efforts. Recent figures released by the National Statistics Office show that during the January-May period this year, the total revenue from VAT reached Lm47 million. This represents an increase of Lm5.3 million, or 12.7% over the same period last year.
With these figures, Mr Muscat may be justified in believing that the
lottery has had a positive affect on people asking for receipts.