Watch: PM announces a €900 million injection to re-vitalise post-COVID economy

A €900 million injection into the economy was announced on Monday evening at a special press conference called by the Prime Minister Robert Abela at Fort St Elmo. Unusual in content as it was in location, the Prime Minister made a frontal attack on the economy with a view to set the wheels of business churning. In his delivery, Prime Minister Abela said that the global sum of €900 million was equivalent to the amount saved by the Maltese over the COVID period.

Benefits for Businesses

Wage supplement:

The €800 grant has been extended until September for the following sectors: Touristic accommodation, travel agencies, language schools, events organisers and air transport.

Other sectors currently with an €800 supplement will be brought down to €600.

Other sectors where the markets have now re-opened will move from Annex A to Annex B (such as Hairdressers).

Ad hoc agreement with the media extended till September.

Commercial utilities:

For the summer months of July, August and September, the government will be paying 50% of commercial utility bills, capped at €1,500 per applicant. This will place a cost of €30 million on the exchequer.

Rents:

A €2,500 grant will be given to those falling under the respective annexes for the months of July, August and September. This will place a cost of €50 million on the exchequer.

Fuel:

 Fuel prices will decrease by 7c as from Monday: Petrol @ €1.34 and diesel @€1.21. The decrease is being effected through a decrease in the fuel tax.

Personal Vouchers:

All persons over the age of 16 will be given €100 in 5 vouchers of €20. Of these, €80 are redeemable in bars and restaurants and €20 in retail excluding supermarkets.

Taxes:

Measures already announce for taxes and other contributions paid by businesses will be extended till the end of August.

Payment of these taxes will be deferred till the end of May 2021 and payment can be made by instalment.

Licenses:

 Payment for licenses to the Trade Department and the MTA will be waived. This includes hawkers, costermongers, tourist guides, restaurants and hotels. This will cost the exchequer €5 million.

Conversion of tax credits into grants:

The Malta Enterprise scheme for micro invest will see 30% of credits being given to companies, transmuted to cash grants. They will receive about €2,000 for Maltese Businesses and  €2,500 for Gozitan businesses.

Re-engineering of business models:

€2.5 million will be allocated to help businesses adapt their business model. Each company will get a maximum of €5,000 through Malta Enterprise.

Skills Development Scheme:

€5 million is being earmarked for this scheme to be operated by Malta Enterprise, aimed at helping companies provide in-house training.  

Trade Fairs Refunds:

Through the Development Bank and Malta Enterprise, businesses which had been set to participate in international trade fairs will be given an 80% refund.

Export Grant:

€10 million grant on exports will be given to companies risking not being paid for goods which they had exported.

Construction Industry:

A €4 million kitty has been allocated to the construction industry with the aim of modernising equipment. The assistance will be capped at €200,000 per application.

Advertising:

A €5 million budget is being afforded to those businesses who want to advertise Maltese products both locally and abroad

Green Recovery:

Government is finalising a plan so that by next budget, it can unveil a low-carbon development strategy.

Benefits for Families

Fuel:

 Fuel prices will decrease by 7c as from Monday: Petrol @ €1.34 and diesel @€1.21. The decrease is being effected through a decrease in the fuel tax.

Tax deferrals:

National Insurance contributions, maternity leave benefits and income tax will remain not deducted from salary till the end of June.

Tax refunds:

A cheque with tax refunds will be sent in the coming days to 210,000 employees. They will receive €11.5 million.

Property:

Taxation on buying or selling of property will be reduced even for those who have already signed a promise of sale. This will be extended till March 2021 and is earmarked to cost €32 million.

 For property costing less than €400,000:

  • Stamp duty will be reduced from 5% to 1.5%
  • For the sellers, 8% duty will be reduced to 5%

First-time buyers:

The measure will be adjusted to include also those who already own a property.

Weddings:

Couples who had to postpone their wedding will be given a refund of €2,000 out of an allocated €2 million budget for this line item.

In-work benefit:

Families will receive a down payment of €250 each. The families who are eligible for the benefit wi;l be expanded. Sum received per child will be increased.

Voluntary Sector and Homes for the Elderly:

A €3 million fund has been set aside for homes and voluntary organisations whose bills exploded in the COVID-period since they were keeping their employees in situ.