PN proposes €50 voucher for all citizens to help catering establishments

Miguela Xuereb

Partit Nazzjonalista has proposed handing out a €50 voucher to all citizens aged over 16 to be spent at catering and entertainment establishments licensed in Malta and Gozo.

In a statement by Opposition spokesperson for the catering and entertainment industry, Hermann Schiavone, the Nationalist Party said that such vouchers should have be used within two months after the measures are lifted and restaurants and entertainment establishments are allowed to operate again.

The catering and the hospitality industry have been the hardest hit since the coronavirus outbreak in Malta. Restaurants and snack bars were only allowed to operate providing take away or delivery services and have been barred from serving clients. On a daily basis, the health authorities along with the police are carrying out inspections to ensure that catering establishments and bars are not flouting the law.

The Opposition explained that the measure would cost the government around €17 million and the government would recover €3 million in VAT.

Schiavone noted that the catering and entertainment industry were among the hardest hit sectors due to the outbreak of the global coronavirus pandemic. He underlined that the industry was important to the country’s economy and employed thousands of individuals and was a source of income for thousands of self-employed enterprises.

“It is evident that the industry will not recover in summer,” Schiavone said. He explained that the government should ensure that the industry would recover over the coming years.

The Opposition urged the government to invest in the sector through an injection of funds to ensure its recovery.

On Thursday, Superintendent of Public Health Professor Charmaine Gauci announced that one case was detected during the overnight tests and another 39 patients have successfully recovered from the virus.

Gauci also announced the rate of transmission was slightly below one and the health authorities were assessing the situation in order to plan the easing of measures.

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