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Government Recovery Plan – COVID-19

The Maltese Government has announced a €900 million recovery plan in view of the Covid-19 impact, a plan which is aimed at restoring the Maltese economy through a reduction of expenses for businesses, the issuing of more financing packages, boosting domestic demand and providing direct support to industries whilst also promoting work.

The following is a brief overview of the measures announced during yesterday’s conference:

Covid Wage Supplement

The Covid Wage Supplement which was introduced in March and issued to those business and enterprises which were impacted by Covid-19, will be retained up to the end of September 2020. The same rate of €800 and €500 for full timers and part-timers, respectively, is being retained for the tourism industry while for other industries which will remain on Annex A, the rate of €600 and €375 for full timers and part-timers, respectively, shall apply. Some of the industries which were previously listed on Annex A, will now be considered to be eligible for a supplement under Annex B.

Furthermore, the Government announced that students and pensioners who work part-time, will now be eligible for the wage supplement.

Electricity Subsidy for Businesses

For the months of July, August and September, the Government will be subsidising electricity bills of business by 50%, up to a maximum of €1,500 per applicant. This will apply to all those industries which were included in Annex A and Annex B.

Fuel Price Reduction

The Government announced that the prices of petrol and diesel will be reduced by €0.07 per litre. This means that from Monday 15th June, the price of petrol will be at €1.34 per litre and that of diesel will be at €1.21 per litre.

Tax Cut on Property Transfers

As part of the recovery plan, the Government is also aiming to boost the property market. For this matter, both buyers and sellers will benefit from reduced stamp duty on property transfers.

Buyers will now be paying 1.5% in tax and sellers 5% on property transfers. Therefore, a reduction of 3.5% and 3% applies for buyers and sellers, respectively.

The rates are applicable for residential properties only and are capped at a maximum of €400,000. This measure shall remain in place until end of March 2021.

First Time Buyers

Furthermore, in relation to boosting the property market, the Government announced that the current law regulating the First Time Buyers Scheme will be amended accordingly to allow for those who had previously bought a property which is not residential, to be able to benefit from the scheme as First Time Buyers when buying their first residential property.

Construction Industry

The Government stated that the budget for the modernisation of the construction equipment shall be increased to €4 million.

Rent Subsidy for Businesses

There shall be a grant, capped at a maximum of €2,500 per applicant, to help companies cover their commercial rental fees. This grant will be applicable to those entities listed on both Annex A and Annex B.

Tax Deferrals

Companies will continue to benefit from the tax deferral scheme which was announced in March. Such tax deferrals will be extended until June 2020. The deferred tax shall be paid by May 2021 and no interest shall be charged on such deferred tax.

As for National Insurance, Maternity Contributions and Income Tax, the Government announced that these will start being paid again from the 1st July 2020.

Tax Credits

The tax credits issued in relation to the micro invest scheme will be adjusted in order to have 30% of such credits issued in grants. Maltese Business will be eligible for grants of up to €2,000 whilst Businesses located in Gozo will be eligible for grants of up to €2,500.

Tax Refunds (Individuals)

€11.5 million will be used to cater for the refund of individual income tax. This measure had already been in place, however, the Government announced that it will be issued once more in the coming days.

In-house Employee Training

The budget of the current scheme administered by Malta Enterprise, which aids companies to cater for in-house training, will be increased by a further €5 million.

Vouchers

All those aged 16 and over shall be receiving €100 in vouchers which are meant to be spent in hotels, bars and restaurants. One of the vouchers may be spent at retail outlets which were closed during the past months due to the pandemic.

Wedding Expense Compensation

For all the couples that incurred extra expenses due to having to postpone their wedding for a later date, the Government will be refunding a portion of such expenses. The refund is capped at €2,000 based on the additional expenses incurred by such couples.

Fairs Refund

Up to 80% of expenses incurred by business who were participating in international fairs which were cancelled due to the pandemic shall be refunded by the Government.

Improved in-work benefits

All families who currently receive the in-work benefit will now be receiving a one time grant of €250. The current thresholds will be amended to include more families whilst the current grant will also be increased.

Licences fees waived

As a measure to help businesses within the tourism industry, the Government announced that all business who paid their commercial licences to the Malta Tourism Authority will have next years’ licence fee waived. For those business who still have not paid their commercial licence, the licence fee for this year shall be waived.

Business Fund and Advertising

Malta Enterprise shall be managing a fund aimed at aiding businesses who wish to re-model their business in order to meet the necessities of the current circumstances. The grants from this fund shall be capped at €5,000 per company.

There shall also be allocated €5 million to be used by companies who want to advertise their products both locally and abroad.

Refund of Port Charges, Export Promotion and Credit Guarantee

The Government shall be refunding 33% of port charges and 10% of container discharge fees. Transhipment activities are excluded from both schemes.

There shall also be allocated €400,000 to Trade Malta which will be used to refund companies for up to 50% of expenses in relation to digital marketing.

Furthermore, an export credit guarantee will be provided to companies by the Malta Development Bank. This guarantee shall be capped at €10,000,000 and is aimed for those businesses who seek to export their products in new markets.

The Government revealed other investments which may not be directly related to the Pandemic, such as an investment of €400 million in industrial facilities and infrastructure aimed at attracting foreign investment.

The above-mentioned measures will help to enhance Malta’s economy whilst adjusting to the new circumstances. The Prime Minister stated that this is a strategic plan with a vision for a better tomorrow.

You may contact us on or +356 213 777 00 should you require any further information on the above or any information regarding Government Aid in relation to COVID-19 measures.

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