The Malta Chamber President David Xuereb and Director General Kevin J. Borg attended a virtual Malta Council for Economic and Social Dialogue (MCESD) meeting. The meeting featured the participation of Ministers Silvio Schembri and Carmelo Abela, as it discussed matters related to the economic challenges brought about by the Covid-19 crisis.
During the meeting, Perit Xuereb said that the business community needed clearer direction and timeframes on the eventual lifting of the economic lockdown. Some entrepreneurs were under the false impression that the country would emerge from the current situation by June and this misconception was hampering proper planning.
Referring to the IMF report, Perit Xuereb noted that the economic cost was expected to be far larger than that estimated by the IMF especially because uncertainty around the globe would continue, at least until a widely accessible anti-Covid-19 vaccine would be available.
Director General Kevin J. Borg referred to the Chamber's on-going surveys which consistently showed high redundancy forecasts from member companies which were not included in the Annex lists eligible for support.
He appealed to the authorities to take heed of the Chamber's concrete recommendations for wage support which was based on loss of turnover criteria rather than NACE codes.
He also spoke about the Chamber's recent proposals regarding the gradual lifting of the lockdown measures, when the authorities would feel that this was safe to do so. The Malta Chamber made recommendations for a tapering off of support measures with the gradual lifting of restrictions. This would serve to ease off pressure on public finances and support measures.