6 MARCH 2002

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The water gushing from our pipes

The water gushing out of water pipes in our arterial roads is symptomatic of a disorganised and uncoordinated government service.
For years, contractors have been asked to carry out works and have consistently not been provided with details of electrical cables, water pipes and other relevant details.
This has led to a spate of incidents in which major water pipes have been damaged and the resultant impact has been the loss of water - plenty of water.
The same has happened with electricity cables.
We may not know it, but Maltese water production costs are among the highest when compared to other countries.
The reason for this is the use of desalination plants which are completely dependent on the powers stations at Marsa and Delimara.
Time and time again, the public, local councils and others have lamented over this poor coordination, but nothing has happened.
When are government ministers going to realise that the people of this country want action now and fast?

By George, a hoarding tax

One brave comment two weeks ago by a gentleman from Din l-Art Helwa talked of the need for a hoarding tax. The implication of imposing a hoarding tax on unused property would have a rollerball effect on many sectors.
It would undoubtedly raise more revenue for government. That is not a primary concern or motivation for many people, in fact it would release thousands of empty properties in our town, adding to the glut that exists.
But it would inject more dynamism into a market that has growth potential.
It would help revive many of our historical centres and it would give some solace to our countryside.
The time to introduce a hoarding tax is soon, perhaps not this year but definitely in the near future, although it might be a good idea to change the name from hoarding tax to something more user-friendly!

Our stock brokers

The markets abroad are changing and moving in a positive way. All of them are responding to the good news that there is light on the horizon in the US. All the markets have reacted, from the CAC to the Nikkei.
And in Malta? Well not really. Our stockbrokers are one of a kind, living in a world of their own with very little respect for the workings of the world economy.
What a pity!

Saviour Balzan

The Business Times, Network House, Vjal ir-Rihan San Gwann SGN 07
Tel: (356) 382741-3, 382745-6 | Fax: (356) 385075 | e-mail: editorial@networkpublications.com.mt