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MaltaToday 23 February 2022 MIDWEEK

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2 NEWS maltatoday | WEDNESDAY • 23 FEBRUARY 2022 2 NEWS ELECTION 2022 Labour Party pledges personal tax cuts, lowering of corporate tax rate to 25% NICOLE MEILAK TAXPAYERS will see the non-taxable portion of their in- come increase by €1,700 as part of tax savings proposed by the Labour Party on the second day of the electoral campaign. For parents, the first €12,200 of income earned will not be sub- ject to income tax - up from the previous €10,500. Single persons will not be taxed on the first €10,800, while mar- ried persons will not be taxed on their first €14,400 income for the year. The measure would see €60 million more being left in peo- ple's pockets. The pledge was announced by PL leader Robert Abela on Tues- day morning, accompanied by Cyde Caruana and Silvio Schem- bri. "If Malta and Gozo entrust me with my first mandate, we will lower income tax by widening the tax bands," Abela said, add- ing this was possible because the economy was on a sound foot- ing. A new Labour government will also continue to dish out the annual tax refund cheques for those earning less than €60,000, an injection of €24 million per year. The PL is also proposing low- ering the corporate tax rate to 25%, down from the current 35% rate, on the first €250,000 profits earned in the year. Economy Minister Silvio Schembri explained that the proposal will help companies save up to €25,000 - equivalent to a "basic pay" for two workers in a small hotel business. Caruana said the proposals will be implemented gradually throughout the legislature. "We will not wait for the last year of the legislature to implement our promises but will do so gradually over the span of five years." During the press conference, Abela confirmed that the tax refund cheques for this year mentioned in the budget and the additional €100 to €200 cheques to stave off inflation, announced just before the election cam- paign kicked off, will be posted before the election date. "We need to help people now because of inflation and not postpone the assistance," Abela said. Last month, the government said workers and students will be receiving €100 cheques while pensioners will receive €200 as part of a cash injection to make good for inflation. This is over and above the tax refunds an- nounced in the Budget, ranging from €60 to €145. Prime Minister Robert Abela (centre) with economy minister Silvio Schembri and finance minister Clyde Caruana NICOLE MEILAK PRIME Minister Robert Abela evaded questions at a press conference on Tues- day as to whether former Labour Party leader Joseph Muscat would be welcome to give a speech at a party rally during the election campaign. "I don't throw people away, especially those who don't agree with me," he stat- ed, without mentioning Joseph Muscat by name. He instead fired away at the National- ist Party, which saw four MPs announce that they will not contest the coming election on the first day of campaign season. Abela referred to an exclusive Malt- aToday story, where MP Mario Galea revealed that the Nationalist Party made his life hell. Since becoming prime minister in Jan- uary 2020, Abela has largely kept Muscat at arm's length in public events. Muscat previously revealed that he has no plans on contesting the coming election, and is yet to be spotted at a Labour Party event. Muscat also largely kept out of the pub- lic eye until a police raid on his home last January, prompting him to make more public appearances in video interviews or through Facebook posts and vlogs. Abela refuses to say if Joseph Muscat is welcome at Labour rallies 'I don't throw people away': Robert Abela keeps Muscat at arm's length when asked if he'd be welcome at a Labour rally Former prime minister Joseph Muscat has stated he has no plans to contest the coming election

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