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Economic Stimulus of EUR 1.8 billion unveiled to fight Covid-19 struggles

Luca Caruana  -  19/March/2020

The Government of Malta announced a rescue package of EUR 1.8 billion to mitigate the coronavirus crisis in Malta. The main pointers of the package are the following:

Liquidity

  1. The package includes EUR 1.6 billion in liquidity for companies:
    • EUR 900 million in Loan Guarantees
    • EUR 700 million in Tax Deferrals
    • EUR 210 million will be injected to assist the economy

Quarantine Leave and Parental Leave

  1. The Government will pay EUR 350 per employee on quarantine leave
  2. One parent from each family who is forced to stay at home as a result of school closures, and is unable to telework, will benefit from EUR 800 per month leave (for the coming two months). For this to apply:
  • Both parents need to be employed within the private sector, and
  • Both shall not be able to work from home

Aid for Companies and Self-Employed Persons

The Government intends to:

  1. Cover 2 days of employee wages per week (based on a maximum wage of €800 per month) for enterprises suffering from a complete suspension of operations
  2. Cover 2 days of income per week (based on maximum income of €800 per month) for the self-employed suffering a complete suspension of operations. Government coverage will increase to 3 days in the case of self-employed individuals who employ others
  3. Cover 1 day of employee wages per week (based on a maximum wage of €800 per month) for enterprises whose operations decreased at least by 25%
  4. Cover 1 day of income per week (based on maximum income of €800 per month) for the self-employed whose operations decreased by at least 25%. Government coverage will increase to 2 days in the case of self-employed individuals who employ others

Aid for Employees

  1. Employees (Maltese or EU citizens) who are made redundant will get EUR 800 per month as an unemployment benefit.
  2. Third-country nationals who become unemployed won’t get financial assistance, yet JobsPlus will help them find alternative work.
  3. People who lose their job and live in a rental property will qualify for rent subsidy (if not already benefiting from this scheme)

Health Aid

  1. EUR 35 million will be allocated to health authorities for use in their combat against Covid-19

Foreign Workers Update (Third-country nationals)

  1. New work permits for unskilled third-country nationals will not be accepted. Therefore, companies which make anybody redundant cannot apply for a work permit for third-country nationals.
  2. Live-in carers and healthcare professionals whose single permit is about to expire can have their permit automatically extended for a period of three (3) month. These include Nurses, Nurse Assistants, Staff Nurses, Doctors, Professors, Health Carers, Assistant Carers, Carer Supervisors, Health Specialists and Locum Medical Officers (Anaesthesia).

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