Marigold Foundation given over €500,000 in taxpayer funds while Joseph Muscat was PM

The Office of the Prime Minister was the largest donor to Michelle Muscat's 'charity'.

 

As NGOs currently navigate increasing red tape to raise funds, one ‘charity’ appears immune from such problems – Michelle Muscat’s Marigold Foundation.

The Marigold Foundation was given in excess of €500,000 in taxpayer funds, an analysis of public data carried out by the Shift shows. The Foundation was established in 2014, but well over half of the amount taxpayers ‘donated’ to the charity – €326,336 – was given in just three years between 2017 and 2019.

These numbers double when the €100,000 per year ‘standing donation’ from Bank of Valletta (BOV) is added. The government-controlled bank that first set up the charity, handed over control of Marigold to Muscat for just €100, The Shift had revealed.

The single greatest government donor was the Malta Gaming Authority with a staggering €150,000, of which €90,000 was granted in just 2018 and 2019.

Coming in second is the Ministry for Education with €68,000, all of which was donated between 2017 and 2019, the data shows.

The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) comes in third with €52,000, mainly donated between 2019 and 2020.

When donations are analysed according to Ministry, the data shows that the single greatest Ministerial ‘donor’ (using taxpayer funds) was Michelle Muscat’s own husband, Joseph Muscat.

Between mid-2017 and 2019, Muscat’s OPM was responsible for the granting of over €140,000 to his wife’s Foundation from entities and agencies under his remit.

Edward Scicluna (Finance) and Evarist Bartolo (Education) come in second and third place with €91,590 and €63,000, respectively.

The analysis is based on data published in the Government Gazette over the years, as well as replies to parliamentary questions, including those asked by Opposition MP Claudette Buttigieg following The Shift’s original report on Michelle Muscat taking over Marigold.

While the figures raise questions about a government using the public’s money to further fund a charitable Foundation that is already funded by the public’s donations, these numbers only tell half the story.

Marigold has, over the years, also benefited from generous ‘in kind’ support by various Ministries as well as State resources to raise its profile. These “in kind” benefits include Ministries allowing the use of national venues at no charge, AFM bosses allocating army resources to escort Michelle Muscat during her now legendary swims, the Department of Information issuing press releases on behalf of Marigold or a Ministry putting Michelle Muscat’s and Marigold’s name to an EU-funded project.

The fact that the charity is fronted, and now owned, by the wife of the prime minister when the ‘donations’ were made, only serves to amplify concerns.

The support Muscat’s Foundation has received stands in stark contrast to recent moves to introduce measures intended to suffocate NGOs and limit their ability to fundraise while empowering the government to sanction, censor and in effect ban NGOs who express views or campaign for policies of which the government disapproves, according to Repubblika. A group of 79 organisations have called for the new fundraising rules imposed by the government to be scrapped.

                           
                               
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Paul Pullicino
Paul Pullicino
3 months ago

You can only do so much with an offshore company especially when its been exposed.

alfred zammit
alfred zammit
3 months ago

But i thought she swam the channel to collect these funds?

Albert Bonnici
Albert Bonnici
3 months ago
Reply to  alfred zammit

You mean the sham swims? I wonder what Phelps would have to say about those suppose swims.

Philip
Philip
3 months ago
Reply to  Albert Bonnici

Everything the Muscat’s touched was a sham, and most times a big con.

alfred zammit
alfred zammit
3 months ago

Is that why the present government wants to shackle all ngos by passing a new reform?

Rachel
Rachel
3 months ago
Reply to  alfred zammit

It wants to do that to shut up Republikka, mainly. And probably because it knows that it is now being caught out. Because whatever Robert says, it’s still the same government, with or without Muscat et al being in power

Henry s Pace
Henry s Pace
3 months ago
Reply to  Rachel

That is what bully bobby’s CONTINUITY means

Henry s Pace
Henry s Pace
3 months ago
Reply to  alfred zammit

Ask abela medici !

Joseph Tabone Adami
Joseph Tabone Adami
3 months ago
Reply to  alfred zammit

Do you think that, in view of the facts exposed in this article, the present government considers the Marigold (pronounced MARRY GOLD) foundation as a money-laundering set-up?

Far be it from your mind, please?

Anthony T Mamo
Anthony T Mamo
3 months ago

During her legendary swims.
They are a legend and a fairy tale especially the last one.

D M Briffa
D M Briffa
3 months ago
Reply to  Anthony T Mamo

You are too kind. They are a blatant lie, a lie which shows that the Muscats thought their followers were village simpletons, people who were too stupid and blinded to see sense. And most of them were, and still are. Unless you like to have your intelligence insulted, or are too stupid to realise that Labour know you are an idiot, don’t vote Labour next time. The PN are far from perfect, but they are nowhere near as bad.

Henry s Pace
Henry s Pace
3 months ago
Reply to  D M Briffa

‘ people who were too stupid and blinded to see sense ‘
Their IQ seems to be very low.

Evelyn Grech
Evelyn Grech
3 months ago
Reply to  Henry s Pace

Naghag ta’ Bendu

Carlo Ellul
Carlo Ellul
3 months ago

Puttinu u ohrajn ma hadux ukoll donazzjonijiet fiz-zmien Joseph Muscat? M’hux kullhadd gawda taht Joseph Muscat?

Albert Bonnici
Albert Bonnici
3 months ago
Reply to  Carlo Ellul

And where is the Marigold money going to? or to whom?

Buhagiar
Buhagiar
3 months ago
Reply to  Albert Bonnici

Din mhux xi ohra bhal : Don’t judge me it is what I do for you 😂

Claudia Zammit
Claudia Zammit
3 months ago
Reply to  Albert Bonnici

So far little is known as to how the money was used. I think the Maltese people have a right to know especially if it is their money. We must demand to know.

carlo
carlo
3 months ago
Reply to  Carlo Ellul

Puttinu u ohrajn gawdew mill-genorizita’ tal-Maltin. Taht joseph muscat the most corrupt pm Malta ever had gawdew biss il-korrotti w assassini.

carlo
carlo
3 months ago

SHAME on you corrupt people taking advantage of charitable institutions to fatten your pockets. Once all this money was given from people’s taxes (and not their own pockets) we taxpayers have a right to know where did all this money end up. I remember that spouses of parliamentarians are exempted from declaring their wealth.

Henry s Pace
Henry s Pace
3 months ago

Its exactly what it is said :Malta belongs to them ( the disgraced joseph muscat and his spouse. )

Charles Micallef
Charles Micallef
3 months ago

CHEATERS CAN NEVER BE TRUSTED

Some people, even on charity works cannot be trusted. Apart from this Marigold thing, if you truly want to collect money and show your skills in swimming, then I would invite other swimmers if not to swim with me (so as not to break my ‘records’) at least to act as witness. Think…

If you cheat on social matters aimed to unite people and help others, how could I trust you on other more serious issues?  

Freddy Zammit
Freddy Zammit
3 months ago

Excellent investigation but the $64,000 question is, has Marigold Foundation fulfilled NGO obligations to submit audited accounts and what were all those monies spent on, keeping in mind that their new premises were funded by the EU.

carlo
carlo
3 months ago

How can labour supporters walk with a straight face after all these scandals – they should all go and hide in shame.
jm (the corrupt artful dodger) had used the workers’ confidence to enrich himself, his family and the few people of trust around him.
It’s a real pity they keep supporting such infamous criminals.

Austin Panzavecchia
Austin Panzavecchia
3 months ago

Is there no chance of publishing what money was used and what for reason used please ?? In case I’m in transit??

Albert Petrocochino
Albert Petrocochino
3 months ago

BOV should desist from supporting this on the basis that this charity is now under a nebulous cloud. Moreover, BOV should curtail all their CSR activities until such time that dividends are reinstated. Their shareholders have not been paid a dividend for some years now with some shareholders finding it hard to make ends meet. These elderly shareholders who have skimped and saved and invested in BOV need all the help they can get. Charity begins at home.

Albert Mamo
Albert Mamo
2 months ago

It only goes to prove, the CORRUPTION level we were in, during Joey INVICTUS Muscats reign!!!👎👎👎

Money no problem, as long as it’s the taxpayers, ours and not his!!!👎👎👎

In reality nothing much has changed, with Bob Abela hitting us with a €274 million bill, for an overpriced direct order, old peoples home!!!

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