Cabinet meeting expected this evening to discuss financial aid 

23rd March 2020

Last Wednesday, the Prime Minister announced a €1.8 billion aid package which the Malta Chamber of Commerce, as well as others in the business community, warned would do little to stop job losses.

Cabinet is expected to meet this evening to discuss financial assistance, according to several reports.

Last Wednesday, Prime Minister Robert Abela announced a €1.8 billion financial aid package aimed at helping business through the massive disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry expressed its strong disappointment with the lack of ambitious measures, cautioning the package as a whole will do little to stem the loss of jobs.

For the retention of jobs, the Chamber had suggested that in cases of companies suffering in excess of 25% loss in turnover, Government should pay 50 per cent of the employee’s salary up, to a maximum of the average salary, with the employer covering a further 25 per cent.

The announcement made by the Government is equivalent to a mere subsidy of 20 per cent of the employee’s salary at the level of the minimum wage, the Chamber noted.

Among the measures introduced, Government will be providing businesses with €350 payment per employee for companies to assist paying for workers in quarantine.

€700 million has been allocated to tax deferrals, €900 million to loan guarantees, while a €210 million injection to assist the economy has also been announced.

Local banks can accept all requests for a three-month moratorium for personal and business loans, through the provision of funds.

Through the national development and social fund, a total of €150 million shall be allocated as bank guarantees. The total value accessible for local business in the form of loans shall be €750 million.

Up to 44,000 workers coming from businesses which suffered a complete suspension of operations, will be eligible to receive payment for two out of every five days of work lost. This subsidy has been capped at €3 million per week in total.

Such businesses include accommodation companies, restaurants and bars.

Employees losing their job from 9th March are eligible for a special unemployment benefit, also capped at €800 per month., while people with disabilities who are unable to work from home or stop working due to health concerns, will get the same benefit.

For self-employed, who have also lost work, a benefit for two days per week will be granted, capped at €800 euro per month. Companies that stalled production by 25 per cent will be guaranteed pay for one day per week.

24th March 2020

In total, the Government will pay up to €70 million a month to subsidise wages.

22nd March 2020

Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne made the announcement on Sunday afternoon

21st March 2020

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Cabinet meeting expected this evening to discuss financial aid