Government's intervention in the market to the new vehicle registration/ annual licence regime continues to create problems for all operators in the market.
GRTU is in a unique position to comment as it represents dealers of all cars in the market, whether newly imported, used or second hand cars, sold from local auto dealers.
The aim of GRTU has been all along to create a level playing field for all, together with a good price structure to satisfy consumer needs irrespective of whether they want a used car for local dealers, a newly imported used car or a brand new model imported by the traditional car importers.
GRTU has striven to ensure that first and foremost cars in stock at all dealers will not loose their value because of the changes in the text regime. Auto dealers of second hand cars are suffering greatly as the new tax regime effects the value of the cars in their stocks by up to 35%. This loss is being caused purely by Government action and GRTU is demanding compensation for local auto dealers importers of second hand car dealers, whether from the UK or from Japan. Both presently have a large stock and GRTU has insisted with Government to ensure that these traders will not suffer a devaluation of their stocks.
Essentially GRTU sought a breathing space for these traders until such time when all importers will be faced with a common level playing field. GRTU has however insisted all along that the consumer should not be burdened with taxation that would inhibit in any way the purchase of new cars imported by the traditional car importers.
The general attitude of the EU Commission is to encourage trading of new cars especially those that are most environmentally friendly and Malta cannot act otherwise. GRTU is acting in a wise enough manner, that while maintaining the balance between the three sectors of automobile dealers will satisfy faithfully the consumers` desire for general lower prices and wider choice.
The impression is being given that Government is more keen on ensuring that its revenue remains the top most priority.
One cannot introduce an effective reform if the main criteria is tax revenue.