Watch: Family Minister gives details on COVID-19 support measures

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Minister for the Family, Children’s Rights and Social Solidarity Michael Falzon gave the details in relation to COVID-19 Social Support Measures

The permanent secretary within the Ministry for Family and Social Solidarity, Mark Musu explained the measures in place until today which were announced by Prime Minister Robert Abela on the 18th of March as part of the financial packaged aimed to assist those hit by the coronavirus situation.

Musu mentioned the schemes aimed at employees fall under the responsibility of the Malta Enterprise and the measures aimed at the employers fall under the responsibility of the Ministry.

He also mentioned the schemes announced on the 25th of March:

Mark Musu said that the Ministry was asked to work on the schemes allocated for all the employees that cannot perform their work duties from home.

During the press conference, it was mentioned that people started to receive the payments as from the 1st of April, six days after the measures were announced.

The permanent secretary within the Ministry for Family and Social Solidarity explained that all those who benefit from the social benefits handled by the Family and Social Solidarity Ministry are the same measures government announced, with Musu referring to the €800 measure and that 10% of the sum will have to be deducted as part of the National Insurance contributions. He said that those who fall under this scheme will not see a cut in other social benefits they are entitled to such as children’s allowance.

He also said that the applications the social benefit related to unemployment due to coronavirus is relatively low and that half of the applications have already been processed.

Mark Musu said that by Monday 13th April over 2,000 applicants will have received the benefit. This means that the government would have already forked out €1.1 million. Those who have applied but have not yet received any payment will receive them in arrears.

Family Minister Michael Falzon announced that employees at Appogg Agency took an initiative an launched a helpline to assist those who are feeling lonely and depressed. He also announced that during this month the state-funded food will be distributed and the items part of the package will be increased.