Ministers, PM to forfeit one month’s salary as coronavirus threatens Maltese wages

Tourism, economy ministers and Prime Minister forfeiting monthly salary after announcing wage subsidies for employees in private sector

Tourism minister Julia Farrugia-Portelli
Tourism minister Julia Farrugia-Portelli

Malta’s tourism minister Julia Farrugia-Portelli has announced she will forfeit a month’s salary in solidarity with workers affected by pay-cuts and layoffs.

The same announcement was made by economy minister Silvio Schembri, who said he was calling on anyone who do the same to help others.

Farrugia-Portelli said she was following the example of Malta prime minister Robert Abela, who yesterday announced a series of stimulus measures designed to pay workers up to €800 of their wages, in a bid to prevent layoffs during the coronavirus pandemic.

“This is a time of solidarity,” said Farrugia-Portelli. “The package announced by Abela rewards the hard work of the Maltese and their employers. Every cent this country has saved is borne out of hard work.”

Many private sector directors and employers are forfeiting their salaries this month in a bid to be able to pay workers their own salaries.

Farrugia-Portelli said tourism workers will be paid €800 a month, a bill costed at €44 million for the State, which would mean a €23 increase over the minimum wage. “For those who earn more than this, employers are being asked to do their part to ensure they send workers home with €1,200.”