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 GRTU insists that the business owner should be kept satisfied which in turn aids growth, investment and employment.  Unfortunately, after many years of talk, when weighing the burdens of form filling and time wasted on bureaucratic matters, we still find that owners spend more time doing this rather than focusing on their businesses and how to make them better.

Proposals:

Corporations and departments falling under separate budgetary votes will suffer an annual penalty should they fail to markedly reduce administrative burdens. Similarly additional bonuses will be paid to corporations and accountancy units, within the whole public sector, where measurable reductions of bureaucratic burdens are registered.

Funds available to departments and corporations for economic impact assessments should be clearly earmarked and departmental heads must, on a 6 monthly basis, publish reports on how these funds have been spent and publicise copies of the resulting impact assessment analysis report.

The Malta Accounting and Reporting Standard for Smaller Entities (MARSSE) is not simple enough Government had promised to do away with the legal necessity for annual audits of small firms and GRTU continues to insist that this promise should be implemented. Small businesses should be given the option to produce a simple financial statement that tallies with the regular VAT returns. GRTU believes that the returns submitted to the income tax department and the VAT department are sufficient to enable a proper audit trail and all excessive returns should be eliminated.

Government will, whether for NSO or other, be prohibited from seeking information from businesses when this information is already available in the annual returns for Income Tax and VAT. Enterprise owners will be requested to authorise the use of these returns in spite of the choices they have under the data protection act.

The principal secretary will publish a quarterly report on all consultation conducted and also publish all mitigation plans resulting from such consultations for every new public service initiative that will infringe on enterprises.

Government will ensure that all fines resulting from fiscal or administrative contravention will be of a civil and not of a criminal fine, recoverable only through civil juridical action.

Government should conduct an exercise to ensure that all environmental and planning regulations imposing administrative burdens are rationalised and simplified.

The multitude of inspectorates and enforcement officers emerging from different legal positions should be unified into one focal inspectorate and enforcement regime. It is no longer feasible, and it is an absolute abuse of free enterprise, to have a multitude of inspectorates and enforcement agencies visiting enterprises and premises with complete disregard to the integrity and rights of individual business owners.

GRTU is in favour of the empowerment of this unified inspectorate and enforcement agency to act in a professional manner to eradicate all forms of illicit trading and unfair competition resulting from law evasion. GRTU recognises that the licit and professional enterprise owner is under constant and increasing treat as the level of illicit trading, law evasion and standards abuse continues to grow unhindered.

Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA)

GRTU recommends that MFSA drastically reviews its forms and penalty structures for enterprises that do not meet the stringent deadlines imposed by MFSA. GRTU also recommends that all pending fines become applicable on the new agreed rates.

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