SBC News Malta revamps rescue package to focus on workforce protections

Malta revamps rescue package to focus on workforce protections

The Malta Labour Party has sanctioned wholesale upgrades to its economic rescue package to support vital industries disrupted by the ongoing global Covid-19 crisis.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Robert Abela unveiled a raft of new economic measures to protect Malta’s business community and workforce.

Malta’s Treasury has pledged to commit €61 million per month to support the employer payroll for its ‘hardest-hit sectors‘. The figure equates to a €800 per month direct employee subsidy.

Supporting the government’s new rescue package, Malta businesses have agreed to pay a minimum of €400 per month payment for each employee, guaranteeing Malta’s workforce a wage of €1,200 during the crisis.

Abela underlined that the Labour Party had sanctioned the drastic measures in order to secure private-sector jobs, and sought to protect some 66,000 registered workers employed in hospitality, retail, leisure and travel.

Further support measures see the government commit to a €17 million per month fund, helping business sectors that have been impacted by ‘reduced consumption during the crisis period.

The second fund will support payroll subsidies for private businesses operating in manufacturing, finance and IT-related sectors.

The new economic package has been supported by Malta’s trade unions and industry bodies, which had previously criticised the Labour Party for focusing its Covid-19 business support on tax deferments over workforce subsidies and cost cancellations.

Malta’s government will maintain its €1.6 billion ‘liquidity fund’ which will absorb a reported €700 million in tax deferrals and €900 million in business-loan guarantees.

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