MDB issues new scheme with revised collateral requirement after the Malta Chamber of SMEs highlights difficulties
23 September 2020
Following problems flagged by members on accessing the MDB loan scheme, the Malta Chamber of...
What's Happening? At the
moment the Committee on National Alcohol Policy and Action (CNAPA) are drafting
an action plan targeting binge drinking, enforcement of restrictions on
availability for youth, limiting exposure of youth to alcohol marketing and
advertising, ensuring a healthy and safe environment for children and young
people and monitoring and increased research.
is one of the world's top three priority public health areas. Even though only
half the global population drinks alcohol, it is the world's third leading
cause of ill health and premature death, after low birth weight and unsafe sex
(for which alcohol is a risk factor), and greater than tobacco. In Europe,
alcohol is also the third leading risk factor for disease and mortality after
tobacco and high blood pressure.
European Union (EU) is the region with the highest alcohol consumption in the
world: in 2009, average adult (aged 15+ years) alcohol consumption in the EU
was 12.5 litres of pure alcohol – 27g of pure alcohol or nearly three drinks a
day, more than double the world average. Although there are many individual
country differences, alcohol consumption in the EU as a whole has continued at
a stable level over the past decade. Alcohol is a cause of no communicable
diseases, including cancers, cardiovascular diseases and liver diseases;
communicable diseases, increasing the risks of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and
community-acquired pneumonia; and all types of intentional and unintentional
injury, including homicides and suicides. Alcohol harms people other than the
drinker, whether through violence on the street, domestic violence in the
family, or simply using government resources, notably through the costs of providing
health care, unemployment and incapacity benefits, and dealing with crime and
What is being proposed?
Pricing – a standard rate for a MUP per gram of alcohol.
Evening hours watershed for TV and
Cinema – ban unless film is for over
Outdoor media – restrictions
Print media – restrictions
Regulation of advertising content
Regulation of sport sponsorship
Health advice and warnings (including
pregnancy) on all alcohol drink containers and on promotional materials
Display of grams of pure alcohol
Display calorie count
Malta compared to the rest of the EU
volume of consumption has traditionally been high in the EU, except for Cyprus
and Malta showing also a relatively lowest burden of alcohol-attributable
joined the EU in 2004, and later countries such as Bulgaria and Romania, had to
increase their alcohol excise duty rates considerably before or when they
joined the EU.
In almost all
new EU member states since 2003, the nominal and real values of alcohol excise
duty rates increased between 2004 and 2010. The exceptions are Cyprus, with a
constant nominal rate, and Malta, with a constant excise duty rate for beer and
a 50% decrease for distilled spirits. Despite increases in alcohol excise duty
rates in the new EU member states, the lowest excise duty rates were still
found among them in 2011, Bulgaria and Romania being the clearest examples. Low
excise duty rates for beer can also be found among the older member states.
At the end of
2010, all but three countries had established a maximum legal BAC level of 0.5
g/litre or below for general population drivers, with four countries adopting a
zero tolerance level . Towards the end of 2011, Ireland reduced its maximum
permitted BAC level from 0.8 g/litre to 0.5 g/litre for general population
drivers. This left only Malta and the United Kingdom with a level of 0.8
Alcohol is not
just a health issue; it is also a vital issue for the economy and for
productivity. At times of economic downturns, the two conditions for which
death rates jump up are suicides and
alcohol use disorders. A more than 3% increase in unemployment in the EU
is associated with a staggering 28% increase in deaths from alcohol use
disorders. Many studies have estimated the economic burden that alcohol imposes
on society. The cost comes to as much as 2-3% of GDP, over €300 per citizen per
year; and between half and two thirds of these social costs are due to lost productivity. If the costs to people
other than the drinker are included, this cost would probably double. The EU faces an urgent need to reduce the
burden of alcohol, not only to improve the health and well-being of its
citizens but also to strengthen the economic sustainability and productivity of
the Union as a whole.
The date of the
next meeting of CNAPA will be 17-18 June.
Article by Gayle Lynn Callus –
University student reading a Bachelors Degree in European Studies
The Malta Chamber of SMEs represents over 7,000 members from over 90 different sectors which in their majority are either small or medium sized companies, and such issues like the one we're experiencing right now, it's important to be united. Malta Chamber of SMEs offers a number of different services tailored to its members' individual requirements' and necessities. These range from general services offered to all members to more individual & bespoke services catered for specific requirements.
A membership with Malta Chamber of SMEs will guarantee that you are constantly updated and informed with different opportunities which will directly benefit your business and help you grow. It also entails you to a number of services which in their majority are free of charge and offered exclusively to its members (in their majority all free of charge).