It was a budget that prioritised the vulnerable and offered low-income property buyers a way to enter the housing market. So what did Budget 2020 offer you?

Parents 

• €300 grant for every child born or adopted as of next year 
• Parents who quit work to care for a very sick child will be given 8 years of National Insurance contributions 
• Widows and widowers who choose to work will still receive a full €10 per week in children’s allowance, instead of the reduced one they were eligible for before. 
• Extension of free school transport for all students. 

Voluntary organisations

• Fees for appeals lodged by NGOs against planning decisions will be capped at €1,000

Workers

• Cost of living allowance increase of €3.49 per week 
• An extra day of leave 
• A tax rebate cheque for those earning under €60,000 
• Reduced tax rate of 15% on first 100 hours of overtime – provided you earn less than a €20,000 basic salary and are not a manager
• Private pension scheme incentives renewed 

Self-employed

• Grant of up to €200,000 for contractors to scrap old machinery and buy new, less polluting models
• Extension of start-up schemes 

Disabled 

• Disabled who cannot work will receive the minimum wage equivalent of €161 per week as a benefit 
• Grant of up to €1,000 to cover VAT costs of equipment to help manage disability 
• Broader disability eligibility criteria for blind and deaf
• Cancer patients will have the first three days of sick leave covered by government
• ME and fibromyalgia, a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, added to the list of illnesses eligible for government assistance, subject to stringent testing

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Car owners

 • Electric car owners will pay a reduced electricity tariff if they charge their cars at home 
• Existing scrappage scheme will be extended

Alternative transport users

• Pedestrian and cycling bridges in Blata l-Bajda, Gudja and Mcast. 
• Free bus passes for over 75s.
Extending ferry network to include St Paul’s Bay, Marsascala, Marsaxlokk, St Julian’s and Mellieħa
• All existing schemes to buy bicycles, scooters and pedelecs will be extended. 

Property buyers

• Low-income earners aged under 40 can qualify for an interest-free loan of up to €17,500. 
• Stamp duty exemption for first-time buyers on first €175,000 of a property’s value 
• Scheme to restore facades of old houses Irrestawra Darek extended for a further year

Rental tenants

• Extended income caps on eligibility thresholds for rent benefits: up to €19,000 in income for single people and €32,000 for families with children. 

Property owners 

• 15 per cent withholding tax on promise of sales for the first €100,000 in value, instead of the existing 35 per cent rate. 
• Grant of up to €1,000 for early adopters of PV panels, to use to buy a battery which can store generated energy. 

Gozitans 

• Incentives to hold conferences, meetings and events in Gozo 
• Tax credits and fiscal incentives for companies setting up shop in Gozo
• Gozo Channel to work to make fourth ferry permanent 
€10 million for road projects

Students 

• Maltese language spell checker
• Up to €850 grant to go abroad to learn a foreign language
• No VAT on distance learning courses or vocational training 
• Tablets for middle school students 
• Digital catalogue of National Library documents

Retirees 

• A €3.51 per week increase in pensions. Tax bands will be adjusted to ensure pensions remain tax-free
• Free public transport for people aged 75 and over 
• People who receive a services pension and continued to work after that can have their pension recalculated once they reach pensionable age 
• Senior citizens who are ineligible for a minimum pension will continue to receive a €200-€300 bonus once they reach 75
• Supplementary aid given to people aged 65+ and who are at risk of poverty will rise from €100 to €150 a year
• Additional €50 annually for people aged 80 and over and who live in their own home
• €300 yearly to senior citizens who pay their own retirement home costs 
• New 62+ savings bond 

Everyone

• €35 one-off payment to families (€15 for singles) to cover milk and bread price increases. This payment will not affect next year's cost of living allowance calculations

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