COVID-19

Government launches €900 million economic stimulus package

On 8th June, the Government has unveiled a €900 million recovery plan intended to regenerate the economy following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic by implementing measures specifically targeted to reduce operational costs of businesses, to incentivize domestic consumption and measures to support investment.

 

Extension of COVID-19 wage Supplement

The existing COVID-19 wage supplement will be extended in the following manner:

  • Sectors that are directly dependent on the tourism sector, particularly companies involved in tourism accommodation, travel agents, language schools, event organisers and transport will continue to receive the current wage supplement of €800 per month for full timers and €500 per month in the case of part timers, until September 2020;

 

  • The wage supplement for businesses, other than those that are not directly dependent on the tourism sector or personal service providers will also continue to receive a wage supplement which will be paid until end of September. As from 1 July this wage supplement for those businesses is to be reduced to €600 (from €800) for full timers and to €375 (from €500) per month for part timers;

 

  • Personal and professional service providers which were previously included under Annex A, will as from 1 July 2020 be considered as Annex B businesses and will continue to receive a wage supplement of €160/month per full-time employee and €100/month per part-time employee) also until end of September;

 

  • Pensioners and students working on a part time basis to earn income to supplement their pension/stipend and who were previously not eligible for the wage supplement, which was introduced in March, will now also be eligible to receive a wage supplement until the end of September;

 

Measures targeting operating expenses for businesses

  • Annex A and Annex B businesses that have been granted the wage supplement will be able to apply for a grant of up to €2,500 by submitting their lease agreements;

 

  • Annex A and Annex B businesses will also receive assistance on 50% of the electricity bills, up to a maximum of €1,500 per applicant. The Rent and Water and Electricity grants are intended to assist the businesses with their operating costs for the months of July, August and September;

 

  • A grant of up to €5,000 per applicant to assist businesses which incur consultancy fees to re-engineer the business plans and to explore new technological solutions;

 

  • A new Skills Development Scheme will be launched for businesses employing less than 50 employees in order to assist businesses with in-house training and sharing of skills between experienced and young employees;

 

  • All trade licenses paid by businesses that were forced to shut down, to the Malta Tourism Authority and the Commerce Department for 2020 will be waived. Those who have already paid their license will get a waiver next year;

 

  • For the period 1 June to 31 December 2020, a refund of 33% of port charges and 10% in container discharge fees incurred on the import and export of goods will be provided. This aid is not extended to transshipment activities;

 

  • The Government will provide refunds of up to 80% of the expenses incurred by companies that were going to participate in international fairs which were cancelled due to the pandemic;

 

  • The Malta Development Bank will provide an export credit guarantee up to a maximum of €10 million for companies seeking to export their products in emerging markets;

 

  • The Malta Development Bank will act as an underwriter for private companies in the case where bond roll-overs fall due;

 

  • A grant up to €200,000 will be provided to businesses in the construction industry for the purpose of modernizing their machinery and equipment;

 

  • A €5 million fund will be created to assist Maltese and Gozitan businesses to promote their products;

 

  • Businesses which invested during 2019 and qualified for a tax credit, will receive a cash grant equivalent to 30% of the eligible tax credits up to a maximum of €2,000 per business or €2,500 for businesses in Gozo, family-run businesses and those run by female entrepreneurs.

 

Property-related tax measures

  • The final withholding tax rate payable on the transfer of residential property will be reduced from 8% to 5%, and stamp duty from 5% to 1.5%, on the first €400,000 of the value of the property, These reduced rates are applicable until 31 March 2021.

 

Deferral on tax payments

  • The tax payment deferral scheme for eligible businesses mainly operating in the tourism and hospitality, entertainment, transport and manufacturing sectors will be retained until August this year. Companies benefitting from the said deferral can pay the deferred taxes by May 2021 without incurring any interest;

 

  • Other business sectors which benefitted from a tax deferral on National Insurance, Maternity contributions and taxes will need to start paying the taxes from 1 July;

 

  • Businesses are still required to prove a significant downturn in turnover in order to be eligible under this scheme.

 

Other Measures

  • Maltese and Gozitan individuals over 16 years of age will be entitled to vouchers for a total of €100, with €80 of such vouchers being used on services provided by MTA licensed businesses such as hotels, restaurants and bars, and the remaining €20 to be used in shops that were forced to shut down during the pandemic. These vouchers will be valid until end September;

 

  • With effect from Monday 15th June , petrol and diesel prices will be reduced by 7c per liter;

 

  • There will be an improvement in the in-work benefit while a special supplement of €250 will be given for each family that benefits from the same scheme. All this with an investment of €4 million;

 

  • A grant of up to €2,000 per couple is to be given in order to fund certain forfeited deposits on wedding expenses;

 

  • Assistance to nursing homes with an allocation of €2 million;

 

  • An allocation of €3 million to ease the burden of non-governmental organisations;

 

  • An investment of €400 million to be invested in Industrial infrastructural projects over the next 8 years such as the extension of the Life Sciences Park and the upgrading of the Kordin Business Incubation Centre.

 

Speak to our experts

Do you require clarifications about the relief measures or help to access the grants? Our professionals will be glad to assist you with the application process. Get in touch with them now using the links below.