The Government’s COVID-19 wage supplement as well as use of the €100 vouchers, both of which were due to expire by the end of September, have been extended till the end of October, Prime Minister Robert Abela announced on Wednesday morning.
Dr Abela addressed a conference organised by the Malta chamber of commerce, enterprise and industry, in Valletta.
The Prime Minister noted that the extension on the expiry of both measures will coincide with the Government’s 2021 budget announcement, which takes place sometime in October.
As to the decision of whether to re-open schools, the Prime Minister said a decision would be taken in the coming days on the advice of the health authorities, adding that the negative repercussions of further closure on the education system cannot be ignored. Schools were ordered to close their doors last March.
The Prime Minister also touched upon the upcoming MONEYVAL test, which could see Malta grey-listed by the Financial Action Task force for failure to comply with a series of recommendations.
Dr Abela said efforts to pass the test were yielding tangible results, while noting that the local Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) has been expanded from 10 employees with an annual budget of €500,000 to 100 workers on its books with an overall allocation of €10 million.
Malta Chamber president David Xuereb called on the Government to publish health protocols that are to be applied in schools to protect teachers, students and parents.
He stressed that reopening schools was crucial for the local economy.
Perit Xuereb also reportedly called for the continuation of the wage subsidy scheme, adding that it could be linked to the retraining of workers.