€100 government voucher injects much-needed boost into economy

COVID vouchers injected an encouragement of consumption into the economy, earning support of Malta Chamber of Commerce

Economy minister Silvio Schembri
Economy minister Silvio Schembri

Despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic, instilling a sense of optimism and certainty was the government’s priority to which we delivered and unstintingly through an economic regeneration plan which solidly safeguarded jobs and businesses, which was launched in June by the Prime Minister Robert Abela.

“Without this comprehensive fiscal response, Malta’s GDP would have fallen considerably lower, unemployment would have surged faster, and solvent businesses would be forced to liquidate, eroding the economy’s productive base, perhaps permanently.”

This is what renowned credit agency S&P Global stated in its last report. Briefly, it describes a parallel scenario wherein a robust economic regeneration plan was not implemented and underlines the disaster this would have fomented on our country.

An integral part of the plan was undoubtedly the issuance of the government vouchers which besides injecting the economy with some €65 million, including the generation of a massive multiplier effect, it managed to keep businesses afloat and instilled a sense of continuity in the population. The Voucher Scheme managed to not only prop some 5,500 businesses and self-employed during this time but also offered a semblance of normality to the general population after weeks of anxiety. This was precisely the idea behind this measure, which was launched with a two-pronged aim, which not only instilled trust and confidence in people but also rebooted the economy. 

The success of the Voucher Scheme has been reaffirmed by several social partners including the Malta Chamber of Commerce which commented thus: 

“The Malta Chamber of Commerce considers the COVID voucher scheme to have proved extremely useful and effective for businesses throughout the summer months, as it injected a much-needed boost and encouragement of consumption into the economy during these trying times. We need to celebrate what has worked very well in our country during these past months and the voucher scheme system has clearly shown that such proposals are worthy of extension, adaptation and focus to ensure the highest form of effectiveness in our economy and the well-being of our society.”

Given that the pandemic has not abated, the regeneration of the economy remains an ongoing process, with particular sectors still requiring intense support. To this effect Minister for the Economy, Silvio Schembri, remarked, “The Government will continue to focus on the implementation of tangible measures that affect everyone in a positive way. We shall never cease to effectively and without delay, extend our absolute support wherever and whenever needed. The wellbeing of our economy and even more importantly, that of our citizens, remains of paramount importance regardless of the unfolding situation.”

The considerable impact the voucher scheme has had on the regeneration of the economy is undisputed. Discussions between the Ministry and the relevant social partners have been progressing with the aim to further improve and enhance such a measure, which will ultimately benefit consumers and businesses alike.