“Is Malta a Tax Haven?” Not according to Oxfam International

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Oxfam International is a renowned global organisation originally founded in Britain in 1942. Upon inception, the group campaigned for food supplies to be sent through an allied naval blockade to starving women and children in enemy-occupied Greece during the Second World War. Nowadays Oxfam is at the forefront of a global movement campaigning with other organisations, to end unfair trade rules, demand better health and education services for all, and to combat climate change. Its ultimate aim is to eradicate the injustice of poverty.

Late last year Oxfam, as part of its global goal to ensure justice and the fair distribution of wealth, has published a report on what it considers to be the world’s worst tax havens (full version of report here) and reported by taxlinked.net here.

All this is obviously commendable, but let us backtrack for a moment and recall the instance wherein amid much fanfare another report regarding tax havens was published by the European Greens – a report crudely titled “Is Malta a Tax Haven?”, commissioned by MEP Sven Giegold who has taken the time and the trouble in a concerted effort to target Malta in his ‘noble’ crusade against tax evasion and avoidance as reported on maltawinds.com (read here)

Oxfam is an international stalwart in championing fair and just practices, with a sterling reputation spanning more than seventy years…Strangely, considering how the European Greens have kicked up a storm, in Oxfam’s in-depth report, naming and shaming the world’s worst tax havens, there is not a hint of a mention of Malta and its purported tax haven status. Curiously, in its list of the worst 15 perpetrators, amid the usual suspects like Bermuda and Cayman Islands, The Netherlands clocks in at a robust No.3, with Ireland and Luxembourg at No. 6 & 7 respectively and Cyprus at No.10.

And naturally the obvious question comes to mind…With these four much larger jurisdictions, all EU members, why would the European Greens, namely Sven Giegold, incessantly target Malta…Is this simply part of a ‘noble’ quest for justice or is there a more sinister basis for this? Could the fact that the EU’s smallest jurisdiction is well, alive and kicking, flourishing even, as opposed to its struggling counterparts be the reason for this? Why now? Especially since Malta’s tax regime was reviewed by the Commission prior to the country’s accession to the EU in 2004? Why, given his insatiable penchant for justice, were in-depth reports by Mr Giegold not commissioned on The Netherlands, Ireland, Luxembourg and Cyprus?

Oxfam is a global institution whose reputable standing on the international stage is irrefutable…Again, with such damning evidence, why would Mr Giegold ignore all that is staring him up the nose and instead choose to harangue at every opportunity Malta’s tax system? Sadly, there are no prizes for the right answer…