Prime Minister Robert Abela has announced the first set of economic measures for businesses impacted by the COVID-19 to assist employers and the self-employed with cash flow problems.
They include a two-month postponement of provisional tax, VAT, and National Insurance Contributions for both self-employed and employers. The incentive is primarily aimed, but not limited to, the tourism and hospitality, entertainment, transport, and manufacturing sectors that are being affected by COVID-19.
A second incentive supports companies that invest in teleworking technologies. Support shall be limited up to €500 per teleworking agreement and €4,000 per undertaking. The grant shall be awarded against 45% of the eligible cost. This call is eligible for costs incurred between 1st March and 30th March 2020.
These incentives along with the application process shall be handled by Malta Enterprise via the email address firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 144.
Government will also be accelerating VAT refund payments to businesses.
“These are strong measures that will have a positive impact on businesses to safeguard jobs. They’re not easy measures, but our economy is resilient, and our finances are stable.” Abela said.
Finance minister Edward Scicluna said Malta’s economic growth will be impacted upon by the coronavirus outbreak. He said it was still too early to say whether this could lead to a recession. “Malta starts from such strong growth, with its surplus, that any impact from coronavirus is buttressed by this cushion.”
He said Malta will be introducing a mini-budget to take stock of the coronavirus impact. Scicluna said he met the Malta Bankers Association, who said they had “promised” to do everything they can to assist businesses on cash-flow problems for the next months. Scicluna said he will keep monitoring the situation, to see whether another package of measures will be required.