Employers benefiting from Covid-19 aid to be named ‘to prevent abuse’

DOI: Pierre Sammut

The identity of all companies benefiting from the Covid Wage Supplement aid package will be made public to prevent abuse, Economy Minister Silvio Schembri said this afternoon.

Speaking during question time in today’s parliamentary sitting, Schembri warned that employers found pocketing such aid – instead of using it to supplement their employees’ wages as intended – would risk harsh punishments, including prison time.

He said that Malta Enterprise, which is managing the scheme, has made it clear that it will avail itself of the right to publish the list of beneficiaries. Consequently, the minister explained, employees would find out whether they were not receiving the assistance they should have, and act accordingly.

Schembri noted that such financial aid involved significant spending of government funds, and while the government was happy to provide it, it was important to be transparent about how the funds were being spent.

Asked on Malta’s exit strategy to address a future subsiding of the Covid-19 pandemic, Schembri expressed praise for the proposals made by various social partners. He noted that contrary to what one may expect, these proposals did not only look into the narrow interest of the organisations making them.

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