Malta’s PM Robert Abela has announced a third set of economic set of measures after a number of constituted bodies as well as economists had expressed their dissatisfaction with the first two packages. Abela described this agreement as a “historical social pact” which was unprecedented, which was befitting an unprecedented situation.
The measures are intended to inject trust in businesses and employment and give a strong message of trust in challenging times. “After darkness, there will be light”, quipped the Prime Minister.
The PM explained that Malta has a war chest that needed to be used responsibly and in a prudent manner.
Government will be covering up to 800 euro a month for workers in the most affected industries, particularly hospitality, retail, food and beverage, transport, creative and entertainment activities as well as the transport sector. This means that workers on the minimum wage will be covered for their full wage. This will affect in excess of 60,000 employees. Employers would be covering the difference up to an income of 1,200 euro per month.
Prime Minister Abela also announced that Government would be supporting other industries such as manufacturing, wholesale and warehousing, with one to two days of salary being covered. 50,000 employees can benefit from this scheme. He called on employers to avoid laying off people as they would have to recruit again and retrain in a few months once the crisis is over. This will cost 17 million euro.
Self-employed persons employing others with them will have three days instead of two covered.
Abela recalled that in cases where both parents work in the private sector and one of them has to stay at home to take care of children, they will receive an 800 euro support grant every month. 12,000 families may benefit from this scheme which will cost 19 million euro.
The Prime Minister also announced that he will be renouncing one month’s salary in view of the current situation.
This decision was followed by Economy Minister Silvio Schembri and Tourism Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli.
Applications for eligible businesses can be downloaded from covid19.maltaenterprise.com.