A leading consortium of Maltese employers and small business owners has reacted to the government’s €1.81 billion stimulus package, saying that “ill-thought and half-baked solutions are unacceptable” at this challenging time for the country.
“Government once again shows clear signs that it is not understanding the dire situation businesses are in,” the Chamber of SMEs said today in a statement.
“The flashy figures announced yesterday evening, accompanied by the usual rhetoric, mean nothing and will not change anything in the difficult decisions employers are unwillingly taking and the sacrifices they and their employees are having to make.”
The Chamber said the government didn’t need to “reinvent the wheel” and look at other countries to keep business in business and workers in jobs.
“In Malta, the government seems to have thrown-in the towel and is shortsightedly catering more for unemployment rather than helping businesses in keeping their employees. The harm of having so many thousands of people in unemployment will cost so much more in socio and economic damage in the long-term as more social benefits will need to be paid in the long-run than the subsidies which are necessary but not being offered now,” they said.
“Where layoffs can be avoided they must be avoided.”
Saying this is not the time for a “mini-budget”, they called on Robert Abela’s administration to “dig deep in its pockets until it finds the necessary funds”.
They lamented how they had been left out of the discussion, saying that “in previous cases, we used to be at the decision-making table day and night”.
The Chamber ended by saying: “the government needs to act fast and will be held responsible for the time wasted, ignorance of social dialogue functions and the harm done to Malta.
Cover photo: Bernard Polidano