People in Malta should be given €20 vouchers to spend on the arts, the Malta Entertainment and Arts Association appealed.
Addressing a press conference with the Chamber of Commerce today, the newly established lobby group outlined a set of proposals to support artists and entertainers in one of the industries worst-hit by COVID-19.
They included one similar to the government’s €100 vouchers to support restaurants and retail once lockdown was lifted. In MEIA’s proposal, every resident of Malta and Gozo would receive €20 to spend on any service or good that is considered cultural consumption.
“We can’t go back to a time when the art sector was non-existent,” Howard Keith Debono, President of the MEIA warned.
“If no action is taken, all the work we’ve done in the last 25 years would have been for nothing.”
There are 4,924 people employed in the industry, including arts, entertainment, publishing, film, TV, sound, libraries and museums.
MEIA’s Vice-President Toni Attard warned that half of these would likely quit the arts if the current situation remains until 2021 and that long term plans, including an extension of the wage supplement and more investment schemes, are necessary to sustain it.
Other proposals involved the digitisation of the industry, more financing and funds for new projects, a reduction of taxes for companies who invest in the industry and a lowered tax rate for artists and musicians.
What do you make of these proposals?