14 government CEOs receive over €100,000 each from taxpayers

Kurt Farrugia, Jonathan Cardona and Carmen Ciantar lead the pack

 

Fourteen government CEOs are each pocketing more than €100,000 annually, an analysis of answers tabled in parliament shows.

Most are political appointees, given the position because of their closeness to the ministers who rewarded them with financial packages that are more than twice what they earn, and seven times the average Maltese income (€20,000).

The information analysed by The Shift was based on replies tabled in parliament to questions by PN MP Ivan Castillo. It shows that some are making more than €150,000, despite Prime Minister Robert Abela pledging he would get the situation under control.

The full picture is not yet available because five ministers have not provided the information requested. So far, Ministers Chris Fearne, Aaron Farrugia, Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi, Clayton Bartolo and Clyde Caruana have not replied to MP Ivan Castillo’s questions.

Yet it is clear that Carmen Ciantar (Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne’s personal campaign manager), Kurt Farrugia (spokesman for disgraced former prime minister Joseph Muscat) and Jonathan Cardona top the list of the highest-paid CEOs.

Kurt Farrugia was appointed CEO of Malta Enterprise three years ago with a unique nine-year contract with a pay package building to €180,000 a year. Farrugia had no experience in the sector and left just a few weeks before Muscat’s forced resignation in 2019.

Apart from a staggering €105,000 basic salary, Farrugia has a €5,000 yearly increment, apart from a raft of other perks, to reach €180,000. He was the most expensive government CEO.

Farrugia had announced that he was volunteering a pay cut of €5,000 a year during the pandemic, having to survive on €148,667 a year, apart from the costs of medical insurance for his whole family and the cost-of-living adjustment.

While Fearne seems reluctant to provide the information on his CEOs, The Shift has already revealed that Fearne’s closest political aide and chief lobbyist, Carmen Ciantar was put on a €163,000 package.

The National Audit Office concluded that Ciantar’s contract is “irregular”, but nothing has been done to address the situation with Fearne only pledging to review the contract on its expiration.

Jonathan Cardona, the new CEO of the beleaguered state energy provider, Enemalta, has joined the fray after he was handpicked by Energy Minister Miriam Dalli.

A former CEO of Muscat’s cash-for-passports scheme, Cardona was put on a €146,421 financial package even though he never worked in the energy sector. In the meantime, Enemalta is reportedly registering millions of losses every month.

Others living it up on the backs of taxpayers include former Gzira mayor Roberto Cristiano, until a few years ago an official of the General Workers Union, who takes home a salary of €125,109 plus benefits as the CEO of Engineering Resources Ltd – a company that employs former Enemalta workers made redundant.

Kevin Chircop, who chaired Enemalta in a raft of scandals, was put on a €146,100 package as CEO of Enemed, the company procuring fuel on behalf of the government.

Ismail D’Amato, a former engineer at Enemalta, is getting €121, 225 as CEO of InterConnect Malta, a newly formed government entity overseeing a possible gas pipeline between Malta and Sicily.

Ivan Falzon, a former head of secretariat, is receiving €115,700 plus benefits to manage the Water Services Corporation, while another political appointee, Richard Bilocca, is being paid €122,854 as CEO of Wasteserv, the government agency responsible for waste collection.

Charles Mizzi is pocketing at least €102,409 as CEO of Residency Malta Agency, while Joseph Mizzi, the CEO of Community Malta Agency which is responsible for the cash-for-passports scheme, is being paid €113,358.

The Head of the Malta Gaming Authority, Karl Brincat, is getting more than €110,000 from state coffers, while Renzo Degabriele,  CEO of the Active Ageing and Community Care Agency is being paid €104,258. Degabriele is responsible for multi-million-euro direct orders in Private-Public Partnerships with various private homes for the elderly.

MIMCOL CEO Stanley Mifsud receives €12,1835 annually, while the CEO of State-owned Petromal Co Ltd‘s take-home pay is €125,990.

Finance Minister Clyde Caruana is supposed to be conducting a spending review to rein in more than €8.5 billion in debts accumulated by the government over the last years.

                           
                               
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Francis Said
Francis Said
1 month ago

This is a disgrace, I am no advocate but I believe a Court Case is in order. This is total mis-management of public funds.
The Hon. Clyde Caruana has said that he Maltese are Communists and Capitalists at the same time.
How right he was, in a different context.

Cikku l-Ghawdxi
Cikku l-Ghawdxi
1 month ago

Il-poplu llupjat u drogat!

Godfrey Leone Ganado
Godfrey Leone Ganado
1 month ago

No one will convince me that the appointees of these tax suckers, who are actually misappropriating our funds, are not receiving a percentage cut on these salaries.
Obviously, a person like Kurt Farrugia will keep receiving his pack for a period of ten years, and possibly with a renewal clause, to keep his mouth shut on the millions of commissions that the three crooks, Lord Egrant and Godfather Joseph Muscat, Don Hearnville Konrad Mizzi and Don Tillgate Keith Schembri, received for their visit to Azerbaijan, to procure fuel oil.
If these crooks had to be accused in Court, the idiotic faced AG, would state in her accusation that the visit was for the purchase of olive oil for the Kasco Group.

Joseph
Joseph
1 month ago

Iqaxruna hajjin qedin u kullhadd halqu maluq.

carlo
carlo
1 month ago
Reply to  Joseph

u tort hu biss tas-suppost Maltin. Meta l-veru Maltin qamu, solvew ftit mis-soffernzi – jekk il-poplu jibqa’ gwejjef, jibqa jig misruq.

David
David
1 month ago

Shame on them All.
What a corrupt country.
That is why our country is heading to the wall.
All of them are overpaid and overrated.

Charles Camilleri
Charles Camilleri
1 month ago

U gahan kuntent u ferhan .

Out of Curiosity
Out of Curiosity
1 month ago

It would be interesting to investigate about the objectives each one of these Officers achieved during respective tenures. Perhaps you can start, by posing them a direct question to list the changes that they’ve brought about, so that finally the Maltese would have the opportunity to be greatful to them and thank the Lord for being so generous to provide us with these predestined hardworking talent. No surprises please!

Out of Curiosity
Out of Curiosity
1 month ago

In addition it would be interesting to investigate about who is really heading MTA, whether it is in the hands of one CEO or two!! And what about BCA? Recently there has been a change at the realm after a rift caused by KTP and MDA. What can the former CEO tell us about it? But most importantly, what is the vision of the new CEO? I am curious. Are you?

Chan
Chan
1 month ago

That is why the inland revenue is attacking small businesses in malta and telling them that they must pay hundreds of thousands to pay these fat cats. This is all being done without any proof of tax evasion cause they are allowed to assume that these small businesses should have made more sales even if they can’t find proof. 1 bottle of wine sold in a restaurant they calculate 4 people having a 3 course meal then times that by 5 years and now you owe 150,000 obviously its dull of penalties. They don’t even care if you own assets to prove you made this money. I hope a journalist looks into this as they are putting the people that just make ends meet in a position of having to sell their homes to pay these type of unjust corrupt bills

carlo
carlo
1 month ago

1.4 million Euros shared between the non trusted people of trust and corrupt persons; well the poor worker had 1.5 Euro – just enough to have a black coffee. Kif ma titthux tilghabuha tal-partit tal-haddiem.

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