The €900-Million Economic Regeneration Plan Launched by Prime Minister Robert Abela is based on three principal pillars:
- Reduction of Costs and Increase in Funding
- Boosting Domestic Demand
- Direct Support to the Industry, and in favour of work
Robert Abela said that with this plan, we will be taking the next step towards a new normality.
These are all the measures which were announced, in detail.
Reduction of Costs and Increase in Funding
- €200-million in tax deferrals.
- Wage Supplement will be applicable, in full, till September for those businesses who are in the tourism sector – other businesses will be getting a reduced wage supplement as opposed to the €800
- 50% Electricity Bills Refund for Businesses (July, August and September) – each applicant will receive up to a maximum of €1,500
- 7c Reduction in the Price of Petrol and Diesel
- €5-million licensing refund to businesses
- Tax Credit Conversion System – so that those who invested in their business can be helped further. Businesses will be given up to a maximum of €2,000 (those based in Malta), and up to a maximum of €2,500 (those based in Gozo or led by women).
- €50-million Restart Grant For Rent – up to a maximum of €2,500 per business.
- €2.5-million Re-Engineering Support Fund for Businesses, to serve as an incentive for them to draft up new business plans.
- An Additional €5-million in assistance to be used by those businesses employing 50 people or less, to be invested in training.
Boosting Domestic Demand
- €100 Voucher for every person aged 16 years and over, which can be used at any licensed accommodation, restaurant or business that closed during the pandemic
- A tax refund will be given to all workers who worked during 2018. Through this measure, an average family, where both parents work, will receive up to €328
- Stamp duty on property purchases will be reduced from 5% to 1.5% on contracts to be signed between 9th June 2020 and 31st March 2021.
- Tax payable by those selling property under development or those contracts made after 1st June 2020, to 31st March 20201 will be reduced from 8% to 5%.
- The First-Time Buyers’ scheme will be modified for all contracts that will take place from the 9th June 2020, unless a person has benefited from the scheme from 2013 onwards.
- €2-million will be allocated as a refund for couples who had to postpone their wedding due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Each couple will receive up to a maximum of € 2,000.
Direct Support to the Industry, and in favour of work
- 33% Port-Charges Refund – for those cargo ships which support the supply chains of our economy
- A 10% refund will also be given on container discharge fees for import and export but not for transshipment
- A new underwriting facility for private enterprise bonds will be held through the Malta Development Bank, which will close this year.
- Support for export promotion. To reach new markets we need to invest more in supporting digital marketing. A budget of €400,000 will be allocated to Trade Malta to reimburse half of the costs involved. This will yield up to a maximum of €10,000 for local businesses, for them to invest in campaigns in foreign markets.
- A Refund of up to 80% of the costs incurred by businesses participating in international fairs, and which were subsequently cancelled.
- €10 million will be allocated to create an Export-Credit-Scheme Guarantee to encourage investment in new markets.
- €4 million will be allocated for the modernization of construction machinery – each business can be granted support of up to €200,000
- €5 million will be allocated to help Maltese and Gozitan businesses promote themselves, wirth help being provided for the production of local produce
- In the next annual budget, the Government is also finalizing its plan to announce the Low Carbon Development Strategy, and how this will be implemented. This will allow for the creation of a new economic niche, as large companies publish non-financial information that will help, so that investors with interests in environmental, social and in favour of governance can invest better
- New industrial infrastructural project – €400 million investment – this investment will prepare industrial infrastructure for the future, while exploring new sectors – this includes the extension of the Life Sciences Park, the upgrading of the Kordin Business Incubation Centre, the regeneration of the Marsa Landfill, a new Logistics Hub to further strengthen this important sector, among others.
- 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 benefit. This will mean an investment of €4 million
- An allocation of €3 million to give a breather to NGOs
- Old people’s homes, will be given an allocation of €2 million
Photo: Gareth Degiorgio / G Media / OPM