Addressing the press conference with the major local Unions, in the run up of the National Workers Day, Prime Minister Robert Abela together with Energy and Enterprise Minister Miriam Dalli states that the government will continue helping businesses grow in such troubling times and pivot in light of the new realities.
With over half a billion Euro in direct stimulus being distributed to businesses to date, the Prime Minister introduces another set of incentives worth over €20 million. The new incentives will be based on a two-fold approach, providing direct support to business and other incentives to stimulate economic activity.
Direct Support to Businesses in Malta
The rent support scheme will be further extended for a further period. It will also be open for new applications currently under the wage supplement scheme. The Electricity Support Scheme will be lengthened to cover June, July and August 2021. Thanks to their scheme, businesses who are currently closed to to government enforced pandemic restrictions can benefit from a subsidy of 50% of their total electricity bill. Moreover, a one-time cash payment of €1,000 will also be distributed to those business which will remain closed following the next lifting of restrictions in May.
The 'Change to Grow 2021' scheme will also be extended. The aid intensity cap has doubles to €10,000. It can be used in aid of implementation of projects which will aid businesses pivot to digital. Business will also be able to kick-start their investment cycle with the Smart and Sustainable Investment Scheme after the pandemic. This is a cash grant of up to €50,000 with an additional 20% though cash credits.
Tax certificated obtained through the Micro-Invest scheme due for expiry in 2021, 2022, and 2023 will be extended by three years respectively. Indeed, a total of €78.4 million has already been injected into 8,861 businesses in this manner
Stimulating the Maltese Economic Activity
Interestingly, Malta is one of only three EU countries during which employment increased in 2020. Malta has managed to keep its work-force stable mostly thanks to the Wage Supplement Scheme which has cost the government approximately €455 million until April 2021.
Moreover, a second batch of pandemic vouchers will be distributed throughout the island in the coming months. This is considered as one of the most direct measures taken by the government in order to stimulate the local economy. In 2020, the government distributed €44.6 million in vouchers, which generated an additional spend of €11.5 million.
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