A delegation from The Malta Chamber led by President Perit David Xuereb, met with the Hon Silvio Schembri, Minister for the Economy on Tuesday, to discuss the development and involvement of the Chamber in the implementation of the business re-engineering scheme which the Chamber itself proposed in its pre-covid budget proposals.
These proposals focus on the continued flow of liquidity to address hard-hit sectors and impacted businesses in the rest of the economy, the importance of mobilising labour supply while incentivising businesses and jumpstarting the economy. The initiative would thus ensure the required shift in mindset in various sectors and stimulate innovation that will in turn enable the economy to emerge even stronger.
The main proposals include:
- To safeguard liquidity within companies locally, the Malta Chamber proposed a VAT reduction across the board; further flexibility in payments of Social Security Contributions; coverage of sick leave allowance as of day one; temporarily suspending the 15% tax on rent; and the conversion of tax credits into cash grants.
- The disruption of most of the work force was mainly due to parents having to juggle between taking care of their children, home schooling and attempting to work from home. Hence, the Chamber recommended that schools need to be re-organised during the summer so that there are no disruptions during the next scholastic year.
- The Chamber believes that businesses need to re-invent themselves and Government needs to support this process to the greatest extent possible. Therefore, resources for the Business Advisory Scheme by Malta Enterprise must be increased to further incentivise companies that need to remodel and re-engineer their current operation.
- In order to jump-start the economy, the Chamber believes that a key measure would be to strongly invest in addressing the gaps found in the e-Government system, through further simplification to meet user requirements, and seamless sharing of centralised data between Government departments and entities.
- Since digitalisation has become paramount, additional funding schemes that would support business operations to migrate to the digital scene need to be put in place. Furthermore, the Chamber recommended that a solid investment in the setting up of Grants for Innovation and Investment would provide a quantum leap for businesses to think differently and re-invent themselves.
The meeting also discussed serious issues being faced by importers in the wines, spirits, beverages and tobacco business due to the sharp drop in business.