State of the Union: Five key takeaways from Ursula Von der Leyen
17 September 2020
Key points from von der Leyen's state of the union speech [caption id="attachment_14822" align="alignnone" width="640"]...
This year’s Budget offers a healthy mix of incentives targeting the private sector many of which are being implemented with the collaboration of the GRTU. Most of GRTU’s priority areas have in fact been addressed and a good number of proposals have been taken up. GRTU believes this will further secure the country’s economic growth.
GRTU notes with dissatisfaction that the energy tariffs have not been reduced albeit clear indications supporting GRTU’s claim. GRTU will continue with its representations in this regard to see electricity reduced. On the other hand GRTU welcomes the positive incentives aimed at increased renewable energy investment by the private sector, also a priority area for GRTU.
Access to Finance
Whist GRTU welcomes the announcement that the investigation it itself instigated, in relation to bank interest rates and charges, has now been completed, GRTU is eager to see the results of this investigation and tangible action taken in this regard. In addition GRTU reiterates that more needs to be done to increase enterprise options when it comes to access to finance, especially means of financing that go beyond the use of banks. In line with this GRTU is also eager to see the implementation of the long awaited Development Bank.
GRTU reiterates that we must foster an enabling environment for our enterprises to compete online. This is of paramount importance not just for our enterprises but also for our economy. As such GRTU believes this Budget is lacking of concrete incentives that encourage businesses to sell online and strengthen their online identity as well as policies that aim at making online selling to foreign countries a possibility through, for instance, competitive export costs.
Traffic and Parking
A number of GRTU’s proposals in this area have been taken up including planned incentives for the private sector to introduce transport schemes for their employees, other incentives such as car pooling and the strengthening of sea transport as well as the exploration of alternative means of transport. GRTU had also proposed increased parking facilities, a measure also present in this Budget. GRTU will continue working with the Ministry to continue increasing incentives to the private sector that can provide concrete solutions to Malta’s traffic problems.
GRTU is pleased Government is giving importance to this trench of enterprises through repayable grants which was another priority and suggestion of the GRTU. GRTU will be working with the Ministry to intensify assistance to start-ups to overcome current shortcomings in the system.
Other measures welcomed by the GRTU include the regulation of migrant workers, simplification through fiscal consolidation and the fast processing of insolvency procedures, the export trade guarantee, the permanent link between Malta and Gozo, the developments in relation to the POYC and the withholding tax on commercial properties.
In conclusion GRTU also welcomes the fact that in this Budget there are no apparent shocks to business and awaits timely implementation based on thorough consultation with social partners.
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