11 May, 2020

Chamber President calls on Government to extend assistance to businesses, prevent job losses


David Xuereb, President of the Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry, has called on Government to further assist all businesses with financial support packages, highlighting that the risk of more job losses remains.

In an interview with Timesofmalta.com, Perit Xuereb said businesses that have helped the country’s economy through the taxes they paid over the years deserve to receive Government assistance, also to help them retain their staff.

“When companies profit, as they did, such profits are typically reinvested back into the business to grow that business,” said the Chamber President. “This is the reason why the Maltese economy has grown so fast, thanks to tax paid as a result of success but also a result of reinvestment of profit into the business. If profits were retained by businesses, then the economy would stagnate.”

Perit Xuereb added that protecting businesses and employment has been the primary concern of the Chamber, and that all its proposals to Government were about protecting jobs and keeping redundancies to a minimum, rather than about retaining or protecting turnover.

While the financial assistance measures rolled out over the last weeks have helped businesses, Perit Xuereb stresses that “the oxygen they were supplied with is running out and further measures are required.”

“The help was great but not enough. We expect more measures to benefit more and more businesses, which were left out,” such as real estate, wines and spirits, and many more.

The Chamber President added that timeliness for banks to provide liquidity is essential, as most companies could only stay afloat for a few weeks with the liquidity they have at hand. “Certainly, the economic mood and the ability to keep afloat start to become more difficult,” he said.

“People were focusing on trying to stretch themselves to retain employees or to try and reinvent themselves. However, the biggest effort over the last couple of weeks had been focused on the need to preserve business.”

 

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