Cabinet ministers and senior government advisors will hold an emergency meeting on Monday evening to discuss the roll out of further financial aid measures to help manage the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on businesses.  

Government sources said the meeting was scheduled to begin at around 6pm, however, other preparatory discussions had been held over the weekend and were still ongoing on Monday morning.

Senior sources told Times of Malta that the next round of financial aid measures were expected to address a loophole in the first round of measures unveiled last week, that saw a discrepancy between the coronavirus pay-out and the assistance given to registered unemployed.       

Prime Minister Robert Abela on Friday announced a €1.8billion package of measures to help businesses struggling to cope with the impact of the coronavirus. 

That package included €700 million in tax deferrals, €900 million in loan guarantees, a €210 million injection to assist the economy, which includes €35 million to health authorities to fight COVID-19.

Employers were also to be entitled to €350 for every employee on quarantine leave and special measures to cover leave for families and the wage bill of businesses who have had to close because of the outbreak, were also factored in.

Both employers and unions, however have been critical of the package, saying it did not do enough to address the huge losses being incurred by the business community.  

Employers have asked why workers would accept €350 monthly aid, when they could apply for €800 in unemployment benefits instead.

Government sources indicated that this issue was among the main matters being discussed in the meeting, with a new round of measures expected to be announced later this week.  

Times of Malta has reported that the island's economic growth could shrink by up to half over the next year.  

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