Former PN MP David Thake breached both the Standards in Public Life Act and the MPs’ Code of Conduct when his companies failed to settle unpaid VAT and when he failed to declare his stake in a company in the declaration of assets.
In his report on the case, the outgoing Standards Commissioner, George Hyzler, noted that Thake had said his unpaid VAT dues were due to a lack of cash at his two companies. But he said he had no clear indication of the amount of VAT due because the last declaration he had received from the IRD was from 2016 and he had never been asked to pay the amount.
In January 2022, just two months before the election, PN MP David Thake resigned from parliament after it was revealed that his telecommunications company, Vanilla Telecoms had an ongoing contract VAT invoice of €270,000 with the Inland Revenue Department and that his other company Maltashopper Ltd owed more than €500,000 in VAT.
Thake had written to the Standards Commissioner, asking him to investigate the matter. He did not contest the last elections.
Hyzler also noted in his report that Thake did not mention his 50% stake in Davmar Holdings Ltd, in his 2020 asset declaration as an MP. “Whatever the reason, the fact remains that Thake failed to meet his obligations and declare the company in his declaration of assets as an MP, in breach of the Code of Conduct for MPs”, Hyzler said. He added that it was a direct violation of his ethical obligations as an MP.
Hyzler said MPs should lead by example and obey the law when it comes to paying taxes. He said that although late payment of taxes was common practice for businesses and tolerated by the authorities, an MP had a duty to set a good example.