Ahead of the announcement of the Government’s Budget for 2021, The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry presented its recommendations in favour of a clear vision to ascertain the recovery of the economy, stimulate re-invention and entice re-investment.
In this upcoming budget, which is being regarded as one of the most crucial financial cycles in recent times, the country needs to take stock of the current realities, take note of the lessons learnt during the COVID crisis, and develop objectives that are based on a resilient and sustainable way forward for our economy.
The Malta Chamber is therefore making a number of recommendations that effectively and tangibly deliver the much-needed impetus into the economy in this ever-so delicate time we are living in. In this editorial we shall be covering some of the highlights of the recommendations made by The Malta Chamber. The full recommendations will be published soon.
Firstly, Government is urged to maintain the COVID wage subsidy scheme until a vaccine is administered to our people. The Malta Chamber welcomed the Government’s decision to extend the wage support scheme up till the end of October and looks forward to further extensions until this is necessary to ensure conservation of employer-employee relationships. The Chamber continues to recommend that the said scheme ought to be linked to the Re-engineering of businesses, refreshing of business plans and motivate employee adaptability and flexibility through reskilling and upskilling.
Restoring and safeguarding Malta’s reputation also remains a major priority for the Business Community at the Chamber. It is essential to support the development of good governance structures within the public and private sectors. This can be done by incentivising the recruitment of good governance infrastructure to support and direct business, large and small. Moreover, it is important to increase resources in all Government and regulatory bodies responsible for transparency, law enforcement, investigation and prosecution of any activity that undermines ethical business and damage Malta’s reputation.
The Malta Chamber welcomed the Prime Minister’s vision for a zero-carbon footprint for Malta by the year 2050 during the extraordinary cabinet meeting which was held at the Exchange Buildings in August. Driving towards a Zero Carbon Economy needs to be done by incentivising training and education in sustainability in its widest context, including the built environment and transport.
Taking a leaf from the recent COVID experience the world has been through, the country should invest in contactless Infrastructure, with solutions to reliably safeguard the health and safety of the Population.
The rolling out of national contactless driven solutions for businesses such as the improvement of the effectiveness and convenience of e-Government services will boost the efficiency and the quality of service to businesses.
In this context, The Malta Chamber will be following-up on the 2021 Budget Recommendations to further contribute towards a positive change in the wellbeing of society. This will incentivise businesses to support society with a shift towards Resilience, Sustainability and an improvement in Quality in all that is done.
The Malta Chamber believes that the forthcoming Budget should strongly prioritise the Long-Term National Interest ahead of any attempts for quick returns during this special time in the country’s history.
The country should aim its medium-term Economic Vision, towards achieving A Smart Sustainable Island that seeks to increase economic growth whilst enhancing the quality of life of the people. It is the wellbeing of our people that drives the economy, and economic growth drivers must respect the country’s sustainable development goals and the physical and mental wellness of citizens together with their livelihoods.
The measure of economic progress should go beyond GDP growth alone as it should be coupled with an improved Quality of Life for society at large.
This is the Editorial of the Commercial Courier 91.