Following the COVID-19 pandemic, on the 8 June, the Prime Minister, the Minister for Finance and Financial Services and the Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Businesses announced a package of measures intended to regenerate the economy and this by implementing measures targeted to reduce operational costs of businesses, measures to incentivise domestic consumption and measures to support investment.
A summary of these measures is set out below.
Measures targeting certain operating expenses for businesses
Annex A and Annex B businesses will be granted the following subsidies:
- Electricity bill refund: Equivalent to 50% of the electricity consumption costs (capped at €1,500) will paid to businesses for the months of July, August & September.
- 30% of MicroInvest Tax Credits available to businesses during 2020 will be converted into cash grants up to a maximum of €2,000 per application. In the case of Gozo, the capping will be increased to that of €2,500 per application.
- Grants of up to €5,000 to subsidise consultancy fees incurred to help businesses in Malta to develop new business plans.
- Rent subsidy: a cash sum of up to €2,500 to cover rental costs.
- Trade licence/permits: a full refund of these amounts paid during 2020 by businesses that were forced to close down during the pandemic.
- A refund of 33% of port charges and 10% in container discharge fees incurred on the import and export of goods. Such aid will not cover transhipment activities.
- Export credit guarantee scheme to encourage investment towards exports to new markets.
- Reimbursement of up to 80% of costs with respect to cancelled international fairs, grants will be capped to a maximum of €10,000.
Property and construction
- A grant of up to €200,000 to businesses in the construction industry for the purposes of modernising their machinery and equipment.
- Property Transfer Tax will be reduced from 8% to 5% for sellers – applies to contracts concluded between 1st June 2020 up to 31st March 2021.
- Transfer duty will be reduced from 5% to 1.5%, applies to contracts concluded between 9th June 2020 up to 31st March 2021.
Extension of COVID-19 Wage Supplement
- Sectors that are directly dependent on the tourism sector will continue to receive the current wage supplement of €800 per month in the case of full timers and €500 per month in the case of part timers, until September.
- Personal and professional service providers previously included under Annex A will continue to receive a wage supplement until the end of September, but will as from 1 July be considered as Annex B businesses.
- The wage supplement for other Annex A businesses (i.e. those that are not directly dependent on the tourism sector or personal service providers) will as from 1 July be reduced to €600 (from €800) per month (for full timers) and to €375 (from €500) per month (for part timers). Such supplement will continue to be paid until the end of September.
- Annex B businesses will continue to receive the wage supplement until the end of September.
- Pensioners and students who receive other sources of income apart from their pension/stipend will also be entitled to the wage supplement until the end of September.
Deferral of Tax Payments
- National Insurance, Income Tax and Maternity Contributions will now start to be paid as of 1 July 2020.
- Provisional tax and VAT have been deferred to the end of August.
- Companies can pay the deferred tax by May next year with no interest charged.
Microinvest Tax Credits
30% of Microinvest tax credits available to businesses during 2020 will be converted into cash grants up to a maximum of €2,000. The capping will be increased to €2,500 for undertakings operating in Gozo and for female-owned undertakings.
Grant of €100 voucher to every person
Maltese and Gozitan resident persons over 16 years of age will be granted vouchers for a total of €100. €80 of such vouchers can be used on services provided by MTA licensed businesses and the remaining €20 in shops which were closed by the order of the Superintendent of Public Health during the COVID-19 period, such as retail shops. The vouchers will be valid until September.
Reduction in the price of fuel
Fuel prices will be reduced by 7cents per litre. The price of petrol will be reduced to €1.34 per litre whilst that of diesel will be reduced to €1.21 per litre.
The in-work benefit will be increased to €1,400 per child (where both parents work) or €630 per child (where only one parent works or for single parents). A one-time supplementary in-work benefit amounting to €250 will also be given to each family that is already currently receiving the in-work benefit.
- Financial assistance to old people’s homes.
- A grant of up to €2,000 per couple to fund certain forfeited deposits on wedding expenses.
- Support to bond issuers to ensure that their obligations to bondholders are upheld. The support includes the underwriting of bond issues by the Government and bank support.
For further information:
The details of these measures are still being communicated and further clarifications will need to be sought. We are continuing to follow developments and will provide updates as these become available.
In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact us on email@example.com for further information or should you wish to discuss the effect of these measures in your specific circumstances or in those of your business/enterprise.