We debate whether the new strategic fund proposed by the Juncker Commission will trigger new economic activity.
The budget before us today equally contains investment funds. And it is important to ensure that these are mobilised efficiently.
The record on investment disbursements from the budget is unsatisfactory, absorption of funds low, and delay in project implementation the rule.
One reason for this has been the burdensome rules to vet, approve and implement projects.
A case in point is roadwork contracts in Malta. Though miniscule by European standards, they were subject to Brussels-based contract and award rules even when their size makes them unattractive to outside contractors.
That lack of interest delays project preparation.
Meanwhile, the need to follow to the letter Brussels-based procedures creates problems of compliance for small-scale Maltese contractors.
So, projects are delayed. Costs escalate. As the end of the pluriannual budget period approaches, roadworks are rushed and bunched together, leading to traffic congestion, faulty workmanship and cost overruns.
It is imperative to raise the absorption rate of capital projects funded by the EU
budget. The dilution of one-size-fits-all policies and a more stringent application of the principle of
subsidiarity need to become real priorities.

Maltese Version

Niddiskutu l-fond strateġiku ġdid li qed tipproponi l-Kummissjoni Juncker u jekk dan hux se jirnexxilu jistimola l-investiment.
Imma l-baġit tal-UE li għandna quddiemna llum jipproponi wkoll in-nefqa ta’ fondi ta’ investiment. U se jkun importanti li jiġi aċċertat li dawn il-fondi jintuzaw b’effiċjenza.
L-esperjenza li għandna ta’ kif il-fondi jinħarġu mill-baġit xejn mhu sodisfaċenti. Ir-rata li biha l-fondi jintużaw hi waħda baxxa, u b’mod ġenerali, fit-twettiq ta’ proġett jibqa’ qawwi d-dewmien.
Raġuni għal dan qed tkun li r-regoli biex teżamina, tapprova u twettaq il-proġetti qed ikunu wisq ta’ saram.
Eżempju ta’ dan insibuh fil-kuntratti għax-xogħolijiet fit-toroq ta’ Malta. Għalkemm fuq skala Ewropea, dawn il-kuntratti huma ċkejkna ħafna, jiġu sottomessi għar-regoli mfassla fi Brussell dwar kif jinħarġu u kif jiġu deċiżi s-sejħiet għall-offerti. Mentri l-istess daqs tagħhom irendihom bla interess għal kuntratturi barranin.
Dak in-nuqqas ta’ interess itawwal il-ħin meħud biex proġett jitħejja.
Sadattant, il-ħtieġa li jsegwu f’kull dettall il-proċeduri mfassla fi Brussell, toħloq għal kuntratturi żgħar Maltin, problemi ta’ kif se jikkonformaw ruħhom mar-regoli.
Minħabba f’hekk il-proġetti jiddewmu. L-ispejjeż jogħlew. Meta joqrob it-tmiem tal-baġit ta’ Unjoni kif mifrux fuq numru ta’ snin, ix-xogħlijiet tat-toroq jiġu mgħaġġla u jinġabru kollha flimkien, biex b’hekk tikber il-konġestjoni tat-traffiku, u jiżdiedu l-iżbalji fix-xogħol u l-ispiża.
Jeħtieġ li tikber ir-rata li biha jitħaddmu malajr fondi għal proġetti kapitali maħruġa mill-UE. Hemm bżonn li tingħata priorità reali lil sforzi biex mhux kulħadd jibqa’ jiġi trattat bl-istess mod, kif ukoll biex jiġi osservat aħjar il-prinċipju tas-sussidjarjetà.

REVISION OF THE FORECAST OF TRADITIONAL OWN RESOURCES, VAT AND GNI CONTRIBUTIONS – 17.12.2014

Traditional own resources are assessed on the basis of what appear to be objective measurements of tax resources and general economic outputs.
The underlying assumption is that the methodologies deployed to gather data are fit for purpose across all member states of the EU in a comparable manner.
It is necessary to continually review this assumption.
For example, are estimations of services inputs across economies really comparable when ranging from larger countries to the smallest like Malta? And from countries with the largest reliance on services to those with the smallest?
Similarly, estimates and time phasing of re-exports in national accounts have little importance for larger countries, but could distort the picture enormously for the smallest ones.
Meanwhile, despite the pretence, current data about public revenues and expenditures are still far from being measured on an accruals basis.
What’s more, criteria used make no allowance for the fact that some tax structures, like VAT, carry a higher fixed cost per capita for smaller states than for larger ones.
The use of so-called objective criteria and data give the impression that the allocation of contributions is a fair distribution of burdens among member states. It may be a mistaken impression.

REVIŻJONI TAT-TBASSIR DWAR RIŻORSI MITQIESA TRADIZZJONALI, VAT U KONTRIBUZZJONIJIET MILL-EKONOMIJA – 17.12.2014

Ir-riżorsi mitqiesa bħala tradizzjonali (li minnhom l-istati membri jagħmlu l-kontributi tagħhom lill-baġit tal-Unjoni Ewropea) huma kkalkulati skont kejl ta’ xinhu dieħel mit-taxxi u ta’ xinhu jiġi ġġenerat mill-ekonomija, kejl li jidher oġġettiv.
Il-fehma li fuqha jsir dal-kalkolu titlaq mill-idea li l-metodi li jintużaw fil-pajjiżi membri tal-UE biex jiġbru informazzjoni siewja jagħtu riżultati li huma komparabbli minn pajjiż għal pajjiż.
Hemm bżonn li nibqgħu niċċekkjaw bla waqfien kemm din hi fehma korretta.
Pereżempju, kemm hu minnu li l-istimi li jittieħdu fl-ekonomiji differenti jibqgħu tassew komparabbli meta titlaq mill-akbar pajjiżi u ddur lejn l-iċken, bħal Malta? Jew meta tibda mill-pajjiżi li jiddependu l-aktar mis-servizzi u ddur lejn dawk li jiddependu l-anqas mis-servizzi?
Terġa’, għall-pajjiżi l-kbar, l-istimi u l-iskedar tar-ri-esportazzjoni fil-kontijiet nazzjonali ftit għandu importanza fil-kaz tal-pajjiżi l-kbar, imma jista’ jċajpar enormement l-istampa meta niġu għall-iżgħar pajjiżi.
Sadattant, minkejja li nagħmlu ta’ birruħna mod ieħor, l-istatistika kurrenti dwar dħul u ħruġ pubbliku għadha lura sew milli tinġabar fuq sistema ta’ “accruals”.
Aktar minn hekk, il-kriterji li jintużaw għall-ġbir tal-istatstika ma jagħtu l-ebda konsiderazzjoni lill-punt li ċerti strutturi ta’ tassazzjoni , bħall-VAT, iġorru spiża ras imb’ras ogħla fil-każ tal-pajjiżi ż-żgħar milli fil-każ tal-kbar.
L-użu ta’ kriterji u statistika hekk imsejħa oġġettivi tagħti l-impressjoni li t-tqassim tal-piżijiet fost il-pajjiżi membri qed ikun ġust. Din tista’ hi impressjoni falza.