Pictured above: Malta Developers Association President Michael Falzon delivering his address during the MDA’s annual general meeting on Friday at the Palace Hotel, Sliema. With him are (from left) Treasurer Paul Xuereb, Vice-President Sandro Chetcuti and Secretary Ian Fizpatrick
The Malta Developers Association on Friday changed its statute to enable it to accept associate member organisations and immediately welcomed the Federation of Building Contractors (FOBC) as an associate member.
MDA President Michael Falzon expressed satisfaction that the association had, in two short years, become universally acknowledged as the voice of developers, a voice that speaks without fear or favour in the name of its members on the property market.
It has gained recognition from the political forces in the country, the media and those prejudiced against the property market, and has established itself as a serious NGO whose word is respected even by those who do not agree with it.
“As a result of our work, we have placed the property market on the national agenda,” Mr Falzon affirmed. “We have put pressure on the politicians in the country and, for the first time, the property market has been mentioned in the Budget as an economic sector in the country.”
From what has already been announced, the Labour Party will include three measures in its electoral manifesto following requests from the MDA: action on the Permanent Residents Scheme; the introduction of a final withholding tax on income from rent from residential properties; and the automatic renewal of permits that MEPA has already issued.
The Nationalists already announced in their electoral programme that they will include the MDA’s proposal for a final withholding tax on income from rent from residential properties. “I hope when the two manifestos are published there will be further acceptance of the MDA’s proposals, for which it has worked so much,” Mr Falzon said.
MDA disagrees with Alternattiva Demokratika’s electoral pledge to tax vacant property, which creates an imbalance in the property market since prices will no longer be subject only to the rules of the free market.
Mr Falzon dwelt at some length on the issue of renewal of existing MEPA permits. “We are highly disappointed that after months of insistence with MEPA on this issue, including a specific meeting with Minister Mario de Marco, the Authority issued a 26-page consultation document earlier this week introducing an incredible amount of bureaucracy. As a result, a great deal of uncertainty is going to be created with no one knowing where they stand since everything is tied together.”
The MDA objects to this, pointing out that the MEPA board appears to have given up on allowing common sense to prevail among its employees. Mr Falzon outlined the MDA’s stand on the issue.
The incoming council of the MDA is again headed by Mr Falzon. Sandro Chetcuti is Vice-President; Ian Fitzpatrick, secretary; Paul Xuereb, treasurer; and Anton Camilleri, Mario Camilleri, Malcolm Mallia, Euchar Vella and Keith Pillow, members.