What’s in it for me? Newsbook Q&A asks your questions

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.

16:47 Thank you for following Newsbook.com.mt Q&A. We will meet next week, until then stay safe.
Monique Agius
16:46 In his concluding remarks, Gatt says that there is a helpline – 144 and a special email which has been set up: covid@maltaenterprise.com.

Gatt adds that a special website has also been set up and one may access it on: https://covid19.maltaenterprise.com/
Monique Agius
16:43 In his concluding remarks, Gaerty says that many have yet to realize that we were entering a "new" world. This will require businesses to rethink their models and services, he says.

Gaerty says that the Department of Inland Revenue are available 24/7. He says that it was better for one to send an email.
Monique Agius
16:42 Gatt says that there were other industries which are present in Malta such as DLT and digital games. He adds that digital games were on the rise worldwide.
Monique Agius
16:38 Gatt says that the government is planning diligently. The Tourism Ministry is closely following the situation. He explains that there are many different types of tourists coming to the islands.

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.
Monique Agius
16:33 Malta Chamber of SMEs Deputy President Philip Fenech joins the conversation. He says that at present the businesses are striving to safeguard jobs and survive however one's concern is recovery.

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.
Monique Agius
16:30 The wage supplement is taxable, Gaerty explains.

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.
Monique Agius
16:28 Fenech says from the studies carried out by the Malta Chamber of Commerce there will be some 23,000 redundancies in the next three to six months unless further measures are implemented to safeguard jobs.
Monique Agius
16:25 Have you seen a change in the businessmen's attitude? Sylvana asks.

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.
Monique Agius
16:22 Gatt says that Malta Enterprise is working round the clock to process all the applications in a fair manner.

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.
Monique Agius
16:21 Fenech says that the uncertainty surrounding the situation creates certain difficulties.
Monique Agius
16:19 Head of Policy at the Malta Chamber of Commerce Andre Fenech joins the conversation. Fenech commends the work of the Malta Enterprise and the Inland Revenue in these unprecedented times.

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.
Monique Agius
16:17 Gatt says that the lists were updated and they were looking into case by case basis.
Monique Agius
16:16 The lists are available online.
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
Monique Agius
16:12 Gatt explains the financial measures which have been implemented by the government. The first measure included tax deferral. The government then moved to implement measures related to special quarantine leave and teleworking.

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.
Monique Agius
16:09 The Commissioner for Revenue Marvin Gaerty says that the Inland Revenue and the Malta Enterprise have issued an income tax deferral scheme which is subject to certain conditions when asked how one filters genuine cases from those seeking to abuse.

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.
Monique Agius
16:05 The first question is directed to Anthony David Gatt. He explains that Malta's economy is mixed – from large to small and medium enterprises. Further there are import for re-export companies which are connected to the global economy and therefore they are affected.

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.
Monique Agius
16:04 Host Sylvana Debono explains that today we will shall be looking at the impact of the coronavirus on the economy from an employer's point of view.
Monique Agius
16:00 If you have any questions for our guests, you can send them on ask@newsbook.com.mt.
Monique Agius
15:57 Good afternoon and welcome to Newsbook Q&A. During today's episode the Head of Policy at the Malta Chamber of Commerce Andre Fenech, Malta Chamber of SMEs' Deputy President Philip Fenech and Malta Enterprise Investments Manager Anthony David Gatt will be our guests.
Monique Agius

Send your questions to ask@newsbook.com.mt and tune in for the answers on Thursday 23rd April 2020 at 1600h with Sylvana Debono on www.newsbook.com.mt

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