The Prime Minister together with the Minister for Finance and the Minister for the Economy unveiled an economic regeneration plan consisting of various measures, aimed mostly at those businesses that were hit during the COVID-19 outbreak. The ‘mini-budget’, as it was termed, comprises the following measures:
Wage supplements which were being allocated for every employee at businesses falling under Annex A and Annex B shall continue to be paid until the end of June 2020. The Government announced that as from the 1st of July 2020, wage supplements shall be paid as follows:
The Government also announced that wage supplements shall continue to be paid until end of September 2020.
Tax Deferral Scheme
The Tax Deferral Scheme is being extended to cover eligible taxes falling due until August 2020. However, employee-related taxes withheld by employers such as FSS, SSC nd maternity contributions, are to be paid in full as from the 1st July 2020 onwards. The taxes eligible for deferral shall be paid by May 2021.
Water and Electricity Tariffs Subsidy
Those businesses falling under Annex A or Annex B shall benefit from a reduction of 50% on their commercial utility bills, capped at €1,500 per applicant between the months of July and September 2020.
Reduction in Fuel prices
Fuel prices will be reduced by 7c as from the 15th of June 2020. Petrol will be priced at €1.34 and diesel at €1.21.
Those businesses falling under Annex A or Annex B shall benefit from a reduction of 50% on their rental expense, capped at €2,500 per applicant between the months of July and September 2020.
Waiver on Commercial Licences
Payment for licenses to the Trade Department and the MTA will be waived and a one year refund will be given to those who already paid their licence. This includes hawkers, costermongers, tourist guides, restaurants and hotels.
Micro Invest Cash Grants
The Malta Enterprise scheme for Micro Invest will be converting 30% of the tax credits to cash grants. The grants are capped at €2,000 for Maltese Businesses and €2,500 for Gozitan businesses and women-owned businesses.
Grants on Business Models upgrades
The Malta Enterprise will be operating a scheme intended to cover the costs of professionals engaged to help enterprises adapt their business model to new realities. The grants are capped at €5,000 per applicant.
A new scheme operated by Malta Enterprise will be launched, aimed at assisting companies employing less than 50 employees to provide in-house training.
Trade Fair Refunds
The Malta Development Bank and the Malta Enterprise will be operating a scheme to refund those businesses which incurred costs to participate in international trade fairs, but which were cancelled due to COVID-19. The refund will cover up to 80% of the expenses.
The Malta Development Bank will be operating an export credit guarantee up to a maximum of €10 million intended to assist business seeking to export their products in developing markets and businesses which have already exported their products but are risking not being paid.
Port Charges Refund
Those businesses importing merchandise to Malta shall benefit from a refund of 33% covering port charges. Additionally, businesses shall also benefit from a further 10% refund on container discharge fees on import and export. Trans-shipment costs are excluded from this refund.
A €4 million investment shall be allocated to the construction industry with the aim of modernising machinery and equipment, making them more efficient and environmentally friendly. The assistance will be capped at €200,000 per applicant.
A grant of up to €10,000 shall be allocated to businesses who want to promote their Maltese products digitally, locally and internationally.
Vouchers aimed at boosting local consumption
The Government announced that in an effort to boost local consumption from local businesses which suffered the most during the COVID-19 restrictive measures, all persons over the age of 16 will be given €100 in five vouchers of €20. Of these, €80 can be utilized for holiday accommodation in Malta or Gozo, bars and restaurants, whilst €20 can be used in other retail shops, excluding supermarkets. The vouchers will be valid until the end of September 2020.
A cheque with tax refunds shall be sent in the coming days to 210,000 employees.
Refunds for postponed weddings
Couples who had to postpone their wedding due to the COVID-19 restrictive measures will be given a refund of €2,000.
Reduction in Property Transfer Tax and Stamp Duties
Buyers and sellers of immovable property will benefit from a reduction in property transfer tax and stamp duties on transfers. This reduction is also applicable to those persons who have already registered or in the process of registering a promise of sale agreement (konvenju). The reduction in taxes and stamp duties are as follows:
Buyers and sellers may benefit from such reductions in taxes and stamp duties if they publish the deed of sale by the end of March 2021.
First Time Buyers
The First Time Buyers Scheme shall be adjusted to also include those persons who were previously ineligible due to owning certain qualifying properties in their own name. This means that such persons will now be eligible to benefit from a reduction of stamp duty from 5% to 3.5% on the first €175,000 of the value of the property.
NGOs which were instrumental in helping the Government during the COVID-10 outbreak will benefit from a €3 million fund.
Homes for the Elderly
Homes for the Elderly will benefit from a €2 million fund to cover any additional costs which were incurred during the COVID-10 outbreak.