On 19 October 2020, the Hon. Min. Scicluna addressed parliament and presented the Malta Budget 2021 budget. He started off by giving an overview of Malta’s economic performance over the year, followed by a series of measures and initiatives that the Government will be implementing during 2021.
The main points and incentives that were proposed in the Malta Budget 2021 include the following:
COVID wage supplement has been extended to 31 March 2020 – however it is expected that this scheme will be altered to address aid to be granted to businesses which were mostly hit by the pandemic, using business revenue as the principle factor which will establish eligibility to the scheme
Extension of existing Malta Enterprise managed incentives such as Micro-invest.
COLA increase of €1,75 per week.
Aid to pensioners and the elderly, including a further weekly increase of €3.25 over and above the COLA as well as other measures.
Vacation leave entitlement increased by one day to 28 days.
Additional COVID-19 vouchers of €100 in 2021 for all residents over the age of 16.
VAT exempt threshold increased to €30,000 – this means that taxable persons earning up to €30,000 in a calendar year may not be require to register under the standard VAT registration type.
3.5% reduced rate of stamp duty extended for first time buyers and will now apply to the first €200,000 (previously €175,000). This reduced rate also will apply to the purchase of one’s residential home (even if not first time buyer) if promise of sale entered into by March 2021 and contract of purchase by December 2021.
The rate of duty on the transfer of a family business shall remain at 1.5% for a further year.
Voluntary Organisations, registered as such, shall be exempt from tax with effect from 2021, provided their annual turnover does not exceed € 50,000.
In addition to the above, the Government also announced a number of new measures targeting the “Green Economy”.
Some measures include:
The Stock Exchange will incentivize investors to issue “Green Bonds”, used to finance projects which promote renewable energy and reduce pollution.
The Government signed an agreement with the private sector for the introduction of a refund system on returned beverage containers. This is expected to be set up in 2021.
The Government is concluding the Grand Harbour Clean Air Project, which project will result in a ship-to-shore side electricity system at the Grand Harbour. The overall objective is the reduction in air pollution created by cruise liners.
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