The government’s wage supplement support scheme will continue until the end of 2021, with the government continuing to provide monetary support to the businesses which are worst hit by the pandemic, Enterprises Minister Miriam Dalli announced on Tuesday.
In a press conference announcing the extension of the wage supplement scheme – which the Prime Minister has already announced would go on till June – Dalli said that the businesses which have been affected the most by the pandemic will continue to be sustained till the end of the year.
The wage supplement will continue in its current system – wherein businesses will receive the supplement based on their loss of turnover, Dalli said.
The difference is that with immediate effect, those outlets affected by the new measures implemented last week – such as restaurants and snack bars which can now only operate on a take-away basis – will receive the full €800 per month per employee supplement.
The government will also be implementing a host of economic measures throughout the year with the intention of seeing companies reduce their dependence on the wage supplement, to the point that it can eventually be phased out.
The government’s wage supplement has been the most important economic measure that the government has implemented during the pandemic, having been implemented back in late March.
This measure alone, Finance Minister Clyde Caruana explained, managed to reduce Malta’s decrease in GDP by a third.
He said that the government is anticipating spending some €200 million on the measure over the next nine months, and added that it is something that the government can financially cope with – in fact Caruana expressed that he would be more fearful of the repercussions that there would be if the scheme could not be continued.
On other economic schemes, Caruana said that discussions on the moratorium are still ongoing between the Malta Development Bank, the Central Bank of Malta and all individual banks in order to ensure that the required help to businesses can continue to be provided.
Dalli meanwhile announced that businesses are now also receiving some €5.5 million in assistance on their rents, with the total aid expected to reach €12 million when the scheme is exhausted.
Around 850 companies and 850 self-employed persons who between them employ 14,000 workers in Malta and 900 in Gozo will be receiving such aid, Dalli said.