PN proposes cutting red tape for voluntary organisations – Times of Malta

A new Nationalist government would cut bureaucracy and paperwork for voluntary organisations and exempt them from paying VAT on specific projects, party MPs said on Monday.
PN MP Kevin Cutajar explained how the party would seek to reduce and simplify the red tape and excess paperwork, sometimes even duplicated, that voluntary organisations have to endure so that they could focus on their core mission rather than these administrative processes.
He also suggested creating a centralised portal where voluntary organisations can file all their documentation and annual returns.
More incentives will also be given to promote self-regulation while the Commissioner for Voluntary Organisations will be given more staff to become a regulator rather than a watchdog, he said. 
A single register of voluntary organisations that the PN is proposing would make it easier for such organisations to open bank accounts, he said, by offering banks peace of mind that the organisation is in order and in line with regulations.
He also said that a PN government would make it easier for government buildings to be made available to voluntary organisations and undertake a stocktake to see what buildings could be made available for such purposes. 
Voluntary organisations were forced to go public with their concerns earlier this year after new regulations added significant layers of paperwork to their operations. The new rules were subsequently withdrawn following the outcry.
PN MP Claudette Buttigieg said the PN’s proposal to exempt the payment of VAT on specific “national projects” undertaken by voluntary organisations will have a list of criteria to be able to benefit. Likewise, the party was also proposing extending the facility that donations to voluntary organisations can be reduced from the person’s or company’s annual tax return.
She said another proposal was for the voluntary sector to have a representation on the Malta Council for Economic and Social Development.
PN MP Ivan Bartolo said the party was proposing the use of national funds to fund voluntary organisations, avoiding the need for them to become beggars for funds. These funds can also be granted on a regional level.
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