20 Mar Covid-19 Announcement – Malta Mini Budget
On the 18th March 2020, The Prime Minister, the Minister of Finance and the Minister for Economy, Investment and Small Businesses, released several measures to counteract the negative impacts of the Covid-19. These measures are an addition to the previous measures announced since the Covid-19 pandemic entered Malta. The package has a value of €1.81 billion, which represents approximately 12.9% of Malta’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2019. A summary of the measures has been outlined by GCS Malta’s team below.
- Liquidity injection and bank guarantees of up to €1.6 billion consisting of:
- Deferral of tax payments as previously announced (resulting in expected deferred tax payments estimated at between €400m and €700m)
- €150m of bank guarantees
- €750m of soft loans
- Possibility of requesting a three-month moratorium for both personal and business loans.
- Provision of guarantees by the Government of up to €900m thereby making credit of €4.5bn available.
- €210m of funds (equal to 1.5% of Malta’s GDP in 2019) being made available to cover expenditure resulting from COVID-19.
- An additional €35m has been added to the health budget to fund additional expenditure necessary for acquiring health-related equipment and supplies required to fight COVID-19. Government is also committing to increase this amount should this become necessary.
Measures linked to employment
- A grant of €350 per employee to businesses that have had employees on mandatory quarantine.
- Employees of enterprises that suffered from a complete suspension of operations (e.g. accommodation, food and beverage, language schools and entertainment) will be entitled to a grant of 2 days’ salary per week (based on a monthly salary of €800).
- Self-employed individuals operating in the said industries will also receive a grant equivalent to two days’ salary per week (based on an assumed monthly salary of €800). Those self-employed individuals having their employees shall receive a grant equivalent to three days’ salary per week (based on an assumed monthly salary of €800).
- Where the operations of the business have reduced by at least 25%, employees will benefit from a grant equivalent to 1 day’s salary per week (based on a monthly salary of €800).
- Individuals whose full-time employment has been terminated with effect from 9th March 2020 shall benefit from a temporary increase in unemployment benefit of up to €800 monthly.
New measures linked to the employment of third-country nationals:
- All enterprises terminating active employment contracts shall be denied the possibility of recruiting third-country nationals;
- Going forward only applications for highly-skilled third-country workers shall be considered;
- In the case of job termination, assistance shall be provided to all third-country nationals to find alternative employment.
New service offering by Jobsplus to assist to:
- Individuals who are resident in Malta and whose job has been terminated;
- Third-country nationals whose employment has been terminated. Assistance will also be provided in connection with work permit queries;
- Employers to seek recruits.
Other social measures
- €800 Government benefit per month (for up to 2 months) for families with school-aged children where both parents work in the private sector and are unable to work remotely and who require additional leave to take care of the children.
- Persons with disabilities are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 and have had to stop working following the outbreak. If such individuals are unable to work from home, they will be entitled to a benefit of €800 monthly for a specified period.
- Rent subsidies by the Government shall increase where a family member living in subsidised accommodation has his/her employment terminated.
How can GCS Malta help?
Further in-depth details on the above-mentioned measures will need to be outlined. Our team of professionals at GCS Malta are continuously following developments to provide you with the latest updates. Our experienced staff are here to guide and aid you in these tough times. Contact GCS Malta now on [email protected]