Activist group Il-Kenniesa have a launched an online survey that asks the public “the real questions” on Malta’s cash for passport programme to counter the one launched by the government last week.
The government showed it planned to scrap the capping of the Individual Investor Programme (IIP) by launching an online survey on Survey Monkey, asking the public ‘how to improve it’.
The programme is currently capped at some 1,800 applicants: a figure that does not include dependants.
The first question being asked in the government survey is whether the number of applications under the IIP should be capped at law or left to the government to decide. The survey also poses the possibility that more discretionary powers are given to the regulator / head of agency on the type of documentary evidence which should be provided to substantiate applications.
Any results would not be based on a scientific sampling quota, which means the conclusions of the survey are not reliable in terms of gauging public sentiment on the programme.
“The government is not really interested in what the people think, the questions are aimed at seeking approval from the public for the government to extend the passport scheme. But since they asked for our opinion, we’ll give it to them,” Il-Kennniesa said.
The group’s survey asks the critical question the government survey never put to the public: whether the scheme should in fact be extended.
The activists’ survey also includes questions on existing concerns on the impact of the programme on Maltese society, such as the increase in property prices, trust in the due diligence process, as well as issues of transparency and security.
Il-Kenniesa, a group of young activists campaigning for good governance, are inviting the public to fill in the group’s survey so the government can assess issues it did not include in its own survey. “The (anonymous) results will be made public for the government to understand how the Maltese people really feel about the IIP”.
The government had introduced the scheme soon after the Labour Party was elected in 2013, without any public consultation. The government has refused to provide a list of those who have bought Maltese passports.