PM Robert Abela announce an aid package for businesses and employees which totals around €1.81 billion.
What’s in the package?
- Measures helping those with loans and rent to be paid will rolled out
- People with disabilities who were working will be given aid as it’s advisable for them to remain at home
- A fiscal measure will be rolled out for people who lose their jobs due to the pandemic
- Up to €700 million in tax deferrals; loan guarantees up to €900
- €35 million allocated for health authorities to fight COVID-19. This figure is not capped.
- Employers will be given €350 for each employee on quarantine leave
- Increased unemployment benefit for those losing their full-time job after 9th March
Abela described the aid package as generous but said that it was required.
Finance Minister Edward Scicluna described the Government’s aid package as better than the average. He also said that the Eurozone will be facing a recession. Scicluna said that Malta’s €1.81 billion package is equal to 12.9% of Malta’s 2019 GDP.
“Our economy will be internally and externally impacted,” said Scicluna.
Scicluna said that the postponement of income tax, VAT, and NI dues for March and April for employers and the self-employed will cost between €400-700 million.
He said that these measures will enable banks to help businesses cope.
Scicluna also said that there will be a direct injection of €210 million to assist the economy “and save jobs”.
Economy Minister Silvio Schembri said that up to 44,000 workers will benefit from 2 days per week based on €800 per month paid by the Government up to €3 million per week. Those enterprises who suffered from at least a 25% reduction in operations will also be helped. Around 47,500 workers will benefit from 1 day per week based on €800 per month paid by the Government costing €1.6 million per week.
Schembri also announced that Malta won’t be accepting applications “for new third-country nationals” except for those who are highly-skilled.
According to Schembri, Jobsplus has launched a new service to assist the third-country nationals who lost their job.
Schembri also said that the Government Housing Subsidies will increase for those families where one dependent had their employment terminated.
The measures announced this evening won’t be needing parliament’s approval. A special unit in Malta Enterprise has been setup to help businesses.
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