Tista' taqra bil- Malti.
Newsbook Q&A will, this week discuss the government’s financial packages to businesses as part of the COVID-19 bailout.
This week we shall be asking questions related to businesses: Who benefits? How can you benefit? Which category suits your business best? How to apply? Do I still pay VAT? And Tax? And National Insurances? Am I eligible?
Guests answering your questions: Andre Fenech, Head of Policy at Malta Chamber of Commerce; Marvin Gaerty, Commissioner for Revenue; Philip Fenech, Deputy President at Malta Chamber of SMEs; Anthony David Gatt, Manager Investments at Malta Enterprise.
Gatt adds that a special website has also been set up and one may access it on: https://covid19.maltaenterprise.com/
Gaerty says that the Department of Inland Revenue are available 24/7. He says that it was better for one to send an email.
As Malta Enterprise, while it focuses on certain sectors, they remain the economic and social development agency of government, Gatt explains. He adds that the Malta Enterprise is closely monitoring the situation and analyzing the situation both on a national and international level.
He says that while the financial aid has been given, but what is worrying is whether the businesses will be able to start up following the lifting of measures.
Fenech highlights those companies who have perishable stock and will need to buy it again.
He cites European Commisson President Ursula Von der Leyen who warned European citizens to put off booking their holiday until September. He highlights that once we lift the measures and open the domestic economy, we were still dependent on other markets. Fenech explains that tourism will take longer to recover.
Fenech proposes a war chest for airlines which were loyal to the country in order to isolate the country.
On tax deferral, Gaerty says that the guidelines are published online.
The tax deferral covers Provisional tax, Employee taxes, maternity fund payments and social security contributions, social security contributions of self-employed persons and Value Added Tax.
Fenech says that initially when the outbreak did not hit the country, businessmen were still relaxed. In the last three or four weeks reality hit home, Fenech says, adding that the businessmen started realizing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. He says that with regards to the tourism sector it will take long for it to recover until the airport and the ports open again for tourism. He says that this will probably happen at around the end of the year or early next year.
He explains that the Malta Enterprise is striving to have a transparent and fair process when processing the applications. He adds that companies which feel that the feedback given does not reflect the company's realty they can contest the decision. The Malta Enterprise will however take the final decision.
Fenech says that the Chamber had to adapt its work plan due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. He says that the Malta Chamber of Commerce is carrying out periodical surveys on the impact of the coronavirus on the different economic sectors.
Annex A: https://covid19.maltaenterprise.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Annex-A.pdf
Annex B: https://covid19.maltaenterprise.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Annex-B.pdf
The Malta Enterprise recognised the need to incentive teleworking. Gatt says that the incentive includes €4,000 for companies investing in teleworking. He adds that wage supplement have also been implemented in order to safeguard jobs.
Annex A – refers to those companies which the government ordered to close down or those which were the hardest hit.
Annex B – the government will be assisting the companies partially.
Gaerty says that in certain cases they have been flexible.
He highlights that while the situation has been acknowledged, there was no end date in sight.
The supply chain was affected, he remarks. Gatt explains that the various sectors were affected differently depending on the sector. He said that the effects were felt as early as mid-February.
Gatt says that they have been monitoring the situation very closely.
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