News of a €1.8 billion package for Maltese businesses to protect the economy ahead of an incoming recession in light of COVID-19 did not bode well with some of Malta’s leading entrepreneurs who feel that these measures in no way help the current situation.
Following the announcement of the stimulus package by Prime Minister Robert Abela last night, ROCS Group CEO Colin Aquilina took to Facebook to express his outrage at the package, calling it a ‘joke’ and claiming that it is ‘bound to fail.’
“This is not a mini-budget, I call this a joke travestied as a 1.8 billion assistance plan (200 million in real substance) which would have been shot down by any board of directors in the first minutes of its reading,” he said.
“Whoever understands anything about running a business, also understands that what we have just seen helps in no way the current situation with the Maltese businesses.”
“I simply cannot understand how anyone with any degree of economical or accounting intellect can think that the proposed subsidies can in any way keep or commit a company injecting 80% of the payroll with no income coming in.”
“The payroll is just part of the formula as rents, water and electricity, running costs, communications costs and much more need still to be paid as otherwise the whole operation will simply cease to function.”
“The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry has today rightly expressed a negative opinion re the proposal put forward last night, and those at the top need to understand that deferring tax and vat payments plus a maximum 20% payroll subsidy will in no way stop any company from mass redundancies.”
Yesterday, The Malta Chamber of Commerce warned that employees will be the biggest losers from the stimulus package and reiterated that the government should temporarily subsidise salaries in the private sector to ensure that affected businesses maintain employees on their books whilst business is at a standstill.
“We all have a duty to think long term. Our people are our best assets and we need to make every possible plea to ask the government to assist us through such a difficult unprecedented pandemic crisis,” Colin continued.
“No company can sustain such expenses with no revenue coming in. As many have stated, this is the 2nd month of operations with revenue streams registering a drop of over 97% and unless government acts now and fast, there will be nothing to talk about when the crisis is over.”
“If the government does not act fast and tangibly, in a few months time our unemployment rate will be one of the highest and our economy will shrink and take us back to the early 90s.”