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COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level responses

Eurofound's COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the crisis, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for case MT-2020-24/937 – measures in Malta

Microinvest Cash Conversion

Country Malta , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 08 June 2020
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Access to finance
Author Luke Anthony Fiorini (University of Malta) and Eurofound
Case created 07 July 2020 (updated 14 July 2020)
Related ERM support instrument

Background information

Micro Invest is a scheme that was in existence prior to COVID-19. It "encourages undertakings (including start-ups, family businesses and self-employed) to invest in their business, so as to innovate, expand and develop their operations. Undertakings benefiting from this measure will be supported through a tax credit calculated as a percentage of eligible expenditure and wages costs." In order to be eligible for this scheme (since January 2018), applicants must have employed at least one person (full or part time), must not have employed more than 50 full time employees and their turnover did not exceed €10 Million in the previous fiscal year.

In view of COVID-19 and the impact it has had upon organisations' cash flows, Government announced that a percentage of these tax credits would be converted into grants.

The updating of this scheme is in line with scheme's documentation that was issued prior to COVID-19 which states that "Malta Enterprise Corporation may issue and publish updates to the official Incentive Guidelines covering this aid scheme in terms of Article 8 (3)(a) of the Malta Enterprise Act, Chapter 463 of the Laws of Malta. The Tax Credits for Micro Enterprises and Self-Employed Regulations as subsidiary legislation 463.09 to the Malta Enterprise Act, forms the national legal basis of this aid scheme."

Content of measure

The measure aims to provide support to those who invested in 2019 in their organisation and benefited from Malta Enterprise’s tax credit scheme, Microinvest. Instead of solely providing tax credits, 30% of these will be converted into grants, thus providing a grant of up to €2,000 for any business. Furthermore, organisations in Gozo, family-run businesses, and those run by female entrepreneurs will receive a grant of €2,500. Costs covered by this scheme include refurbishment and upgrading of offices & factories, investment in machinery and other assets. In total this measure will provide around €5 million to small and medium enterprises in our country.

Full guidelines and applications for this scheme are yet to be published.

Use of measure

No information are available.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Self-employed
SMEs
One person or microenterprises
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Consulted Consulted
Form Direct consultation outside a formal body Direct consultation outside a formal body

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown

Involvement

By means of a tripartite agreement, a package of measures to save jobs and organisations was agreed on 24th 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 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. The current measure formed part of this package. The measure is administered by the Malta Enterprise.

Views and reactions

The fourth package of measures, of which the current measure formed part of, received public support from an array of social partners. Those positive and vocal about it were primarily business associations, including the Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber of SMEs, the Malta Employers' Association, the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association, and the Association of Catering Establishments. The feedback on the overall package from unions was more mixed; The Union Ħaddiema Magħqudin (UHM) Voice of the Workers argued that only 6% of €900 million mini-budget will end up benefiting workers directly. Conversely, the General Workers' Union supported the package.

Sources

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Microinvest Cash Conversion, case MT-2020-24/937 (measures in Malta), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, http://eurofound.link/covid19eupolicywatch

Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process. All information is preliminary and subject to change.