Though the Malta Employers Association welcomed the economic package announced by the government on Monday, it warned that a planned reduction in the wage supplement may lead to an increase in redundancies.
In its initial reaction, the association described the measures as a “timely and focused fiscal package,” and said that it was understandable that the government would seek to stimulate domestic demand, support business and encourage further investment.
The MEA said that while the measures would not restore the economy to pre-Covid levels – and neither could they do so, realistically – they would certainly boost economic activity and sustain businesses and consumers in the coming months. It said that the summer months were crucial, as many businesses would decide whether to scale down or retain their operations.
Utility bill reductions should be permanent, and extended to households
Though it emphasised that the package was positive overall, it did flag some points of criticism, including the reduction of the wage supplement. It also said that shifting a number of companies from the benefits of Annex A to Annex B was premature, as many businesses had to dig into internal resources to retain their staff.
The association also said that the grants made available to the construction industry to invest in modern equipment should also be extended to other sectors in need of similar incentives.
As for the reduction in utility rates for businesses, it said that it should be made permanent – if not necessarily at 50% – and should also be extended to households.
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