Wage supplements for businesses hit by the pandemic will be tapered between August and the end of the year, according to a presentation given to social partners this week.
Sources told Times of Malta that the government plans to cut the different supplements down by as much as a third, across two phases starting next week and going on until the end of the year.
Those hardest hit will continue to receive the top tier of support: €800 per employee.
The tapering off plan was presented to the Malta Council for Economic and Social Development during a confidential meeting with the government on Tuesday.
The COVID-19 wage supplement was first introduced by the government in March 2020 in a bid to stop mass lay-offs from businesses that ground to a halt at the height of the pandemic.
The scheme, rolled out when non-essential businesses were ordered shut, is estimated to have cost around €44 million every month, with the government saying it has saved tens of thousands of jobs across most sectors of the economy.
How will the different supplements be tapered?
Companies hardest struck by the coronavirus spread - those which experienced a drop in sales of 55% or more– will continue to receive the full €800 wage supplement per employee for the foreseeable future.
However, starting from August, the four other categories of businesses will all start to receive less state support.
According to that plan, companies claiming a drop of between 10% and 20% in sales are currently receiving €160 per employee, but this will be reduced to €100 in August. The amount will then be cut in half to €50 in October till the end of 2021.
Employers who experienced losses of between 25% and 34% in profits currently receive €320 per employee. This will be cut to €200 in August, shrinking to €100 in October.
Business claiming drops in profitability of between 35% and 44% currently receive aid of €480 per employee. This will be cut to €290 in August, and then down to €145 in October.
As for businesses that experienced a drop of 45% to 54%, their supplement will be cut from €640 per employee down to €510 and then again down to €250.
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