Monday 30th October saw Finance Minister Clyde Caruana deliver his third ever speech in Parliament, with Malta’s social partners broadly describing it as one that is heavy on social measures, but falls short in terms of wealth generation.
Some notable measures that are likely to concern employers across the board is the hefty €12.80 per week Cost Of Living Adjustment, the increase in the minimum wage and the chance of higher taxes for some companies.
One major proposal that has been retained is the fuel, electricity and staple food importation subsidy which has shielded businesses and families from even more substantial levels of inflation.
Here, MaltaCEOs.mt takes a look at the Budget 2024 measures that are likely to pique employers’ interest – whether in favour or against.
- Obligations on small businesses to submit audited financial statements will be eased.
- Minimum of 15% corporate tax rate for major multinationals delayed.
- Current tax imputation system to be retained, while Government ensures system of rebates is in line with EU and OECD measures
- €40 million allocated to the Business Enhance funding scheme and €16.5 million allocated INVEST EU scheme for small and medium enterprises.
- The Skills Development scheme will be extended.
- A new centre of excellence in the field of semiconductors, 30,000 square metre land reclamation at Malta Freeport.
- 30,000-meter square land reclamation at Malta Freeport
- As per previous years, a tax refund cheque, ranging from €60 to €140, will be issued according to income. The total expenditure for this measure is that of €26 million.
- Minimum wage is set to increase to €213.54 weekly, with plans announced prior to the budget of gradual increase over the years.
- In addition to the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) to be shouldered by employers, the Government will issue ‘COLA Plus’ payments ranging from €100 to €1,500 per household, to 95,000 “vulnerable households.”
- Unemployment benefits will be adjusted to 60 per cent of previous salary, with plans of eventually dropping to 50 per cent.
- Energy subsidies to continue, as announced earlier.
- Works are underway for a second interconnector.
- Increased investment in energy distribution networks.
- Shore-to-shop project at Malta Freeport is in the works to allow docked vessels to plug into shore power.
- A plan to develop a hydrogen energy strategy is expected.
- The Government will make plans to pause certain services during the morning, where traffic is at its peak.
- The electric vehicle grant will be extended in 2024 in addition to financial assistance for first-time buyers of ekick scooters. On the other hand, the Government extended the grants for electric vehicle buyers.
- The Government will initiate plans to further increase 1,200 charging points for electric vehicles around Malta and Gozo.
- It announced plans through public-private partnership, to develop more parking areas.