Gozo Business Chamber call Budget 2012 ‘cautious’

Gozo Business Chamber expresses overall satisfaction with Budget 2012 calling it ‘cautious’ with minimal disappointment.

Describing the budget as "cautious" the Gozo Business Chamber said it primarily included measures meant to increase economic growth without decreasing financial stability. "This is important to attract local and foreign businesses to invest in Malta," the Chamber said.

GBC said the Budget addressed particular sectors of society, like the family, the elderly, persons with special needs and those looking for jobs, as well as the potential of women to go out to work.

On a regional basis, apart from benefiting from measures and initiatives which will strengthen the competitiveness of small and medium enterprises, the GBC said industry in Gozo is going to benefit from other measures.

The measures included the vote of €4 million for Eco Gozo, the increase in allowance for Gozitan students in Malta and the extension for another year of Micro Invest through which Gozo would enjoy a reduction of 60% tax instead of 40% on the investment value.

The Chamber also expressed satisfaction that government accepted - "with modifications" - certain proposals it made in connection with the Forward Withholding Tax on income from rent for residential or commercial purposes, as well as on sale of property and the mixed use of buildings in residential zones.

It also welcomed the proposal in connection with the ERDF Energy Grant Scheme was included with the four million euro for Eco Gozo so that economic operators in Gozo will be able to invest in alternative sources of energy.

“We appreciate that government is insisting that work in Gozo should be addressed aggressively and that the Prime Minister has delegated the Secretariat for Political Strategy within the Prime Minister’s Office to do its utmost to see to the creation of jobs in Gozo by having MEPA and other authorities understand better the realities of Gozo,” President of GBC Joe Grech said.

The Chamber however criticised that certain expectations, including potential maritime work, special treatment on the ‘High Net Worth Individuals Rules’ and another fibre optic network to increase the transfer rate of megabit per second for future needs, were not included.