In a survey carried out by the Malta Chamber of Commerce Enterprise and Industry, over the weekend, in reaction to the Government's previous aid package, its member companies were expecting to shed some 45,000 jobs.
“This is no joke,” remarked Chamber President Perit David Xuereb.
Feedback coming through the survey confirmed that the stimulus package needed to be directed more specifically towards more tangible wage support schemes for employers in hard-hit sectors of the economy, in order to urgently save jobs and precious resources for local companies.
In a vlog uploaded this week Perit Xuereb, said feedback for the survey was strong, and that it was not surprise to find there was little appreciation.
Broadly speaking, €700 million had been allocated to tax deferrals, €900 million to loan guarantees, while a €210 million injection to assist the economy was announced. Benefits on salaries capped at €800 per month had been introduced for workers impacted by the COVID-19 disruptions.
Perit Xuereb revealed that less than one per cent found the measures to be adequate, while less than 10 per cent felt the measures could genuinely address their concerns – both from a perspective of retaining staff as well as the business itself.
“Our calculation point towards members expecting unemployment of over 45,000 workers. This is no joke,” he stressed.
He revealed that the Chamber brought together 25 CEOs and “strongest minds” in entrepreneurship, banking, finance and insurance for an e-meeting and drew up recommendations and proposals on how the Government can make a difference.
Perit Xuereb said these recommendations were sent to the Prime Minister, and as he understands it, were seriously discussed at a Cabinet session on Monday evening.