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Letters • January 18 2004

What way out?

Andrew (Andy) Farrugia

I refer to columnist Karm Farrugia’s article ‘The way out,’ (MaltaToday, 11 January 2004). I have always considered most economists/accountants as dastardly parasites who are the sole cause of all the financial problems that have crippled this blessed country. What with creative accounting, tax evasion/avoidance, incorrect or flawed budgetary projections, company meltdowns, and financial scandals galore, we have really been bled quite dry, both as individuals and as a nation.
This so-called expert is suggesting - in point 3 of his article - that the likes of me should have to bear an additional "surtax of 5 percent" on annual earnings in excess of Lm10,000. As if I am not paying enough tax as it is. For your information I am an assistant lecturer at the University Junior College. I work hard for my salary and I pay tax on every cent I earn.
Allow me to give you the figures of my November 2003 payslip - I still have to collect my December payslip from the secretary's office at the Junior College as this week I have been too busy preparing and delivering sessions:

Gross pay to date: Lm 9975.31
Tax to date: Lm 2,063
Social Security to date: Lm606.30

Your financial expert considers the likes of me as "those who can afford a temporary dip in their living standard," and he adds that it would not "seriously hurt any sector of the economy." Balderdash.
I have never received any state benefits like children's allowances; I pay commercial interest rates on my house loan (no state subsidies here); and I protect myself and my family through a private health scheme. I do not really know why I am paying so much to receive absolutely nothing in return.
And yet, this ‘expert’ considers his suggestions as being "realistic, and possibly constructive." Mr Karmenu Farrugia has managed to confirm my view that economists and accountants should be ‘hung, drawn and quartered’ in public.

Editorial note: Mr Farrugia’s letter contained many other ‘unreasonable adjectives.’ He is free to express his opinion but his last comment says much about his tolerance levels.

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