time to explore with esplora

Did someone say second round of government vouchers?

Rumour has it that residents of Malta may soon be receiving a second round of government vouchers.

Don’t go running to your letterboxes just yet, however, because the only thing Prime Minister Robert Abela confirmed was that discussions are being held.

“The first scheme was extremely successful. Not only did we invest €45,000,000 in our people, but this investment prompted more public expenditure, so it had an accumulative effects,” Abela told the press yesterday.

A few months ago, all registered residents above the age of 16 were given a set of vouchers to use up until October. €80 worth of vouchers were given, to be spent at establishments licensed by the Malta Tourism Authority, like hotels and restaurants. A further €20 was given to spend at a retail outlet or service that had its doors shuttered, due to COVID-19.

The scheme was initially valid till September but was recently extended till October and was, without a shadow of a doubt, a great success. Businesses were aided and many were kept afloat, during a time when tourism was at an all-time low, as a result of travel restrictions.

Malta’s Chamber of SMEs called for a second round of the vouchers, but with a twist. They called for a greater focus on retail outlets. An entertainment lobby called for specific ‘culture’ vouchers and the MHRA proposed free plane tickets for tourists to visit the Islands.

In his comments, the Prime Minister said that a final decision on the matter will be taken regarding measures and will be announced in the Budget, scheduled to take place on 19 October.

“Our main principle is to preserve jobs and keep businesses strong,” he said.