On the 8th of June, the Prime Minister of Malta, Dr. Robert Abela, has announced a plan to regenerate the economy following the impact of COVID-19 on the country.
The plan is based on the three main pillars with the objectives being:
- Reducing business costs;
- Enhancing domestic demand; and
- Supporting employment.
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The main incentives, which are expected to cost around €900 million, were the following:
1. Wage Supplement Scheme
Wage Supplements that have been made available by the Government at the beginning of the pandemic will be further extended to September 2020. In the months of July, August, and September the wage supplements will be granted as follows:
- In full at existing rates for businesses operating in the tourism and entertainment industry;
- At monthly rates of €600 per full-timer and €375 per part-timers for other industries which had been classified under Annex A;
- At Annex B rates (or €160 per full-time employee per month) for those businesses which have now opened their doors to their customers; and
- Students and pensioners who are working on a part-time basis, who were previously excluded, will now be eligible for the wage supplement scheme
2. The Tax deferral scheme
The tax deferral scheme which was introduced in March will be extended to August 2020. Amounts so deferred must be repaid by May 2021 and the balances due are interest-free.
3. Business rent costs and water & electricity bills
Certain businesses may benefit from a subsidy of €2,500 to subsidise their rental expense over the months of July to September and a 50% refund of their water and electricity costs up to a maximum of €1,500 per business. These subsidies shall apply to businesses listed on annex A and Annex B.
4. Taxes on immovable property
Final taxes on the sale of immovable property will be reduced from 8% to 5%, whist stamp duty levied on the acquisition of immovable property will be charged at 1.5%. These reductions will apply to properties with values below €400,000 and the contracts of sale must be concluded by March 2021.
5. Fuel prices
Diesel and petrol prices will be reduced by €0.07 per liter as of Monday 15th June.
Each individual who is of 16 years old or older will receive a voucher of €100 which can be used to the extent of 80% at hotels, restaurants and bars and 20% at other establishments which have been hit negatively by COVID 19
7. Wedding costs
A maximum of €2,000 per couple will be granted to those couples who had to postpone their weddings during the pandemic and incurred expenses as a result of this;
8. In-work benefit
The in-work benefit will be extended to include more low-income families and those who are already under the scheme will be given a grant of €250
9. NGOs and homes for the elderly
NGOs whose income was affected by the pandemic and the homes for the elderly will benefit from a fund specifically created by the government
10. Micro Invest Tax credits
30% up to a maximum of €2,000 of the micro invest credits will be converted into a cash grant. This amount increases to €2,500 for businesses operating in Gozo and those owned by females
11. Business re-engineering
Malta Enterprise will also be running a scheme to help companies re-engineer and re-structure their business models, with €5,000 per business being reserved for consultancy services in this regard.
12. Shipping businesses
A 33% refund of port charges will be given to ships which import goods to Malta and 10% refund to ships which export goods out of Malta
13. Exhibition costs
Businesses that had the intention to participate in an international trade fair that was canceled because of Covid-19 will receive an 80% refund.
14. Export credit guarantee scheme
A scheme will be launched to assist Companies export their products to new market
16. Environment-friendly equipment
Contractors investing in eco-friendly equipment will be entitled to receive up to €200.000 refund on the cost of their investment in such equipment
17. Malta Development Bank
Malta Development Bank will step in to underwrite any bonds issued by private enterprises.
18. Waiver of licence fees
Certain businesses shall have their MTA licence fees and commercial department fees waived
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Publication date: 08/06/2020