Finance Minister Edward Scicluna placed the COVID-19 pandemic effects on Malta in the category of a national disaster. When you see the effects in this light, said the Minister, the response must be two-pronged: national and ensuring solidarity.
Minister Scicluna was one of the main speakers at the Newsbook Webinar entitled “The Post-Covid economy”.
Minister Scicluna said that Malta’s advantages were mainly in having a strong financial and economic position. The Health aspect of the crisis was well managed, avoiding even total lockdown. This, said the minister, meant that there were sectors like construction and igaming remained ticking and this made a big difference to the economy as a whole. Referring to the government intervention with aid packages. Minister Scicluna said that this gave some elbow room to businesses.
“We need a budget which will be a recovery budget. This will be a budget of “Living with the enemy” in that we have to learn to live with the virus,” said Minister Scicluna. This, he added, means showing great caution in managing the economy and the businesses. The government he stressed, needs to help businesses in making work pay.
Referring to Malta’s share of the EU aid package, Minister Scicluna was wary in his assessment, saying that this needs to be assessed carefully in what it entails since aspects of it may infringe on Malta’s performance in jurisdictions such as tax and tourism.