21 April 2004

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Sant smiles at allegations of MLP tax evasion

By Matthew Vella

Malta Labour Party leader Alfred Sant has chosen not to comment yet again on allegations of tax evasion on wages paid by the MLP and on social security contributions owed by One Productions, the party’s radio and television company.
Dr Sant smiled and said he had nothing to say when asked for his reaction yesterday to revelations on the party’s failure to declare income tax on party wages, first revealed two weeks ago in sister newspaper MaltaToday.

According to a management letter sent to then secretary-general Jimmy Magro in November 2003 by party auditors Ernst & Young, not all remuneration paid to full-timers and part-timers was being declared for tax purposes.
For the past two weeks Sant has been evasive on the allegations which were revealed in a letter referring to an auditor’s report for the financial years ending 30 June 2002 and 2003, which portrayed a worrisome picture of the financial state of the MLP’s broadcasting company, One Productions Ltd, stating the company owed the social security department Lm280,000 in national insurance contributions and a further Lm58,000 to the VAT department.
The auditors warned that “failure to settle dues in respect of social security contributions and other taxes would mean that the directors might be personally liable for their settlement”. The company’s directors are Louis Attard, Renald Dalli, Paul Lia, Pauline Miceli, Anthony Sultana, JG Vassallo and Michael Vella Haber.
Ernst & Young also cautioned the party executive to closely monitor and review the operational and financial situation of the subsidiaries as “any defaults by these companies will significantly impact the party’s operations,” referring to the fact that the party pledged its Hamrun headquarters as collateral for bank loans taken by One Productions and other party subsidiaries.

Copyright © Newsworks Ltd. Malta.
Editor: Saviour Balzan
The Malta Financial & Business Times, Newsworks Ltd, Vjal ir-Rihan, San Gwann
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