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pr200862en

PR200862en

08/05/2020

PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR THE ECONOMY, INVESTMENT AND SMALL BUSINESSES

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Malta with the highest economic support package worldwide as a % of its GDP – Columbia University of New York Report
Actions will be taken against employers who do not abide with the payment for their employees 
More than €35million have been disbursed so far with regard to the COVID-19 Wage Supplement as part of the 93,114 jobs that are to be saved

Malta’s economic support measures top big players such as Japan, Luxembourg, Belgium and the USA amongst others, making Malta’s economic support measures the largest in the world with 22% of its GDP.

When addressing the weekly economic update press conference, Minister Silvio Schembri referred to the economic report by Columbia University of New York published earlier today which stated that Malta has the highest economic support package worldwide in terms of % of its GDP.

‘Malta was amongst the first countries in the world which issued disbursements to protect businesses and self-employed whilst safeguarding jobs. This report reflects Malta’s economic strength in dealing with such adversities by virtue of the solid foundations built during the past 7 years. It also complements recent reports by financial institutions and agencies, which remarked that Malta should overcome the economic impact brought about by the COVID19 pandemic. Therefore, as a Government, we shall continue at this pace to ensure that economic activity gets back on its feet,’ said Minister Schembri 

During the press conference, Minister Schembri stated that employees will be receiving a formal letter stating whether their employers have received the entitled COVID Wage Supplement. 

Minister Schembri said that in the event that any employees have not received the supplement entitled to them, in this letter they will find instructions guiding them on the procedure to be followed in order to report their claim to Malta Enterprise, which claim shall then be followed by an investigation.

‘Severe action will be taken against employers who do not abide by their duty and fail to pay their employees. On our part, we are running the payment process smoothly and efficiently whilst ensuring that all checks and balances are in place to ensure transparency in the distribution of funds,’ said Minister Schembri

CEO of Malta Enterprise Kurt Farrugia explained that Malta Enterprise is looking at putting into place a mechanism where applicants will have the opportunity to appeal to the corporations final decision. ‘This will ensure that those heavily impacted will get what they need. Besides, a small unit within the Malta Enterprise will be set up to receive and look into claims put forward by the employees should they not receive the wage suppliment approved for them to their employer’, said Farrugia.

When compared to last week, the amount of applications received increased by 952 new applicants amounting to 19,885 applications covering 93,114 employees. 

It was explained that more than €35million have been disbursed so far as part of the COVID-19 Wage Supplement, an increase of €10million.

With regard to the Telework Scheme, €145,000 has been disbursed so far. Concerning Quarantine leave, €708,751  have disbursed so far, covering 2,025 employees.

In view of the lifting of some restrictions during this week resulting in the opening of some businesses, employers shall be continuing receiving the COVID Wage Supplement which has been extended for the months of May and June.