Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.
Factsheet for measure MT-2020-24/1173 – Updated – measures in Malta
|Country||Malta , applies nationwide|
|Time period||Temporary, 08 June 2020 – 30 September 2022|
|Type||Legislations or other statutory regulations|
Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery
– Support for spending, stimulus packages
|Author||Luke Anthony Fiorini (University of Malta) and Eurofound|
|Measure added||23 September 2020 (updated 22 June 2022)|
COVID-19 had a marked negative financial impact on several sectors in Malta. By means of a tripartite agreement, a package of measures to save jobs and organisations was agreed and announced by the Government on 24 March 2020. Amongst the measures in this package, wage subsidies were offered to sectors which were worst hit. During a 'mini budget' announced on the 8 June 2020, which aimed to regenerate Malta's economy, government announced another package of measures. Some of these measures aimed at supporting the property market, and in so doing also supported the construction industry, as the sale of properties slumped during the first few months of COVID-19.
In order to stimulate the property market, the Government introduced the following measures:
The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.
|21 March 2022||
The Minister for Finance, Clyde Caruana, announced that the scheme had been extended by three months, until the end of September 2022, by when the final deed of the property transfer would have to be completed.
|16 June 2021||
In view of its impact, the reduction in stamp duty measure was again extend whereby the scheme remained open to individuals who formed a 'convenium' (promise of sale) by December of 2021, and subsequently signed a final contract of sale by June 2022.
|15 October 2020||
In mid-October 2020 it was announced that the 'First time buyers scheme' value of property exempt from paying stamp duty is to be extended from €175,000 to €200,000.
The Malta Developers Association (MDA) announced that according to its data, June, July and August 2020 were record months for property sales since 2017. They stated 4,088 promise of sale agreements were registered with a value of €860 million.
Citing the impact of these measures, the head of the MDA stated in June 2021 that the collective value of promises of sale had risen by €1.4 billion over the past twelve months. This was seen as beneficial to the country as the construction sector employed over 40,000 people.
NSO statistics revealed that during 2021, the Government spent €138 million on COVID-19 real estate assistance programs. A further breakdown of this figure was not available.
The Minister of Finance announced in March 2022, that by the end of 2021, 8,615 promise of sale agreements had been registered in terms of this scheme.
Sector specific set of companies
||Applies to all citizens|
Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:
|Trade unions||Employers' organisations|
|Role||Consulted||Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative|
|Form||Direct consultation outside a formal body||Direct consultation outside a formal body|
Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:
By means of a tripartite agreement, a package of measures to save jobs and organisations was agreed on 24 March 2020. This was the third but most significant package of measures announced by the Government. Following this agreement, social partners remained in direct contact with the government highlighting their proposals of what was felt was still necessary to save the Maltese economy and jobs. In the case of measures for the construction and property market, this involvement was often through proposals submitted by the Malta Developer's Association (MDA).
In view of this, on the 8 June 2020, the government announced a 'mini budget' to help the Maltese economy to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Essentially, this was the fourth package of measures announced by the government. With the exception of the government loan for first time buyers, the current measures formed part of this package. The loan was announced prior to COVID-19 (Budget October 2019) but was implemented in June 2020.
On announcement of the measures, the Malta Developer's Association (MDA) stated that it was pleased that its suggestions had been taken onboard by Government. It later also highlighted in July and August 2020 that following these measures the property market prospered and indicated that this was due to the Government measures that were instigated.
Newspaper interviews however indicated that estate agent business owners felt that the first time buyer's measure should be raised to €200,000 to reflect the cost of property.
Whilst announcing the extension of the measure whereby a reduction in stamp duty on property is to remain in force, the MDA and Government stated that the two entities were in regular contact and the extension was the result of such consultation.
This case is sector-specific (only private sector)
|Economic area||Sector (NACE level 2)|
|F - Construction||F41 Construction of buildings|
|F42 Civil engineering|
|F43 Specialised construction activities|
|L - Real Estate Activities||L68 Real estate activities|
This case is not occupation-specific.
Eurofound (2020), Measures to support the construction and property industries, measure MT-2020-24/1173 (measures in Malta), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/MT-2020-24_1173.html
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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.