The Government has yesterday evening announced a substantial increase in the financial assistance to those businesses who are being mostly hit by the current COVD-19 outbreak. This follows the measures announced last week by the same Government which can be accessed here.
Under the new measures, the Government will be supporting those private businesses in sectors that are largely hit by the pandemic, mainly those businesses in the tourism sector and personal activities such as beauticians, barbers and the like. The grant that will be given to these businesses consist of Eur800 per month for every employee. This means that employees with a minimum wage, will be receiving an additional Eur23 per month. With respect to those employees whose salary is higher than Eur800 per month, the employers will be forking out an additional Eur400 per month for each employee. During his speech, the Prime Minister also encouraged those employers who can financially afford it, to increase the grant further where the employee’s salary is higher than Eur1,200 per month. With respect to those employers who do not afford to pay the Eur400 to each of their employees because they have been too badly impacted by the pandemic, they should register with the Department of Industrial and Employment Relations. This grant also applies to those employees who work on a part-time basis, where a reduced grant of Eur500 per month will apply. The above mentioned grant is considered to affect around 60,000 workers and is estimated to cost the Government Eur44 million every month.
With respect to other sectors such as manufacturing and warehousing, the Government will be paying for one day’s salary per week (based on a monthly salary of Eur800) with the possibility of increasing it to two days’ salary per week over time. For the Gozitan businesses in these sectors ,the grant will amount to two days’ salary per week, seeing that the impact on such businesses will be higher due to the island’s double insularity. The self- employed who employ workers will be eligible to a grant equivalent to a three days’ salary per week. This measure is expected to effect 50,000 employees and is estimated to cost the Government Eur17 million per month.
The Prime Minister emphasised that the Government’s main objective remains that of safeguarding the health of all Maltese and Gozitan citizens. Nonetheless, Dr. Abela stated that these financial measures will save jobs and keep the economy alive and ready to return to full activity once this pandemic is over.