Saturday, November 08, 2008

The Budget in Malta.

I have been very guarded in my opinions since I moved here to sunny Gozo to live, but hey what the hell I am a taxpayer here now so I think I am entitled to voice an opinion. I have just witnessed the build up, and the announcement, followed by the public backlash of Malta's 2008 budget. Some of it good, some of it not so good and some decisions (much like the UK ) not fully thought through.

First of all congratulations to Malta on moving from the cheapest petrol and diesel in Europe at the start of 2008, to having the dearest fuel in Europe at the end of 2008. The rest of Europe has been slashing the price of fuel as world oil prices plummet, here the government has increased prices? This is not a personal whinge as my petrol consumption is minimal, but the local population is already suffering, as prices rise and wages remain static.

A tax has been applied to plastic carrier bags, these are normally given away in the supermarkets when doing the weekly shop. I don't disagree with discouraging the use of carrier bags as they do cause a considerable problem to the environment in the quantities that we throw them away, 'BUT' since refuse is collected every day here on the Maltese Islands the main receptacle for the storage of rubbish to be collected by the dustman are these carrier bags.

So remove the carrier bags from the equation and people will have to find something else to put the rubbish in for collection, the only thing I can think of is plastic refuse sacks sold in supermarkets. The result is you have simply replaced one type of plastic bag for another and strangely enough, at the same time the government has discovered another opportunity with which to raise taxes under a green banner, but without actually solving the problem. The refuse bags are heavier duty plastic than the carrier bags so will take even longer to degrade when tipped into landfill!!

"Conscience is what makes a boy tell his mother before his sister does". Evan Esar.

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