The Malta Independent 19 June 2021, Saturday

Next round of vouchers aimed for 7 June – Prime Minister

Albert Galea Sunday, 9 May 2021, 11:17 Last update: about 2 months ago

The next round of economic stimulus vouchers is aimed to be issued on 7 June, Prime Minister Robert Abela revealed on Sunday.

Abela was being interviewed virtually on ONE Television on Sunday, where he revealed for the first time that the next round of economic stimulus vouchers, which will give €100 to every resident in Malta to spend at retail and catering establishments, are set to be released on 7 June.

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7 June is the day that bars – the last set of establishments still to open under Covid-19 restrictions – will reopen, depending on the situation with regards to cases.

More details on the vouchers, Abela said, will be given in the coming days.

The first round of vouchers had €80 reserved for catering and accommodation establishments, while the remaining €20 were dedicated to retail outlets.

The second round, the Economy Ministry announced some months ago, will see that split be adjusted to €60 for catering and accommodation establishments and €40 for retail outlets.

Speaking in the interview, Abela mostly focused on social aspects.

He said that the recent Porto Summit had shown that the government was right in emphasising the saving of jobs in the past 14 months, noting that their economic measures had sustained 100,000 jobs – half the workers in the private sector.

He said that the government could have followed austerity measures instead, but instead decided to invest in the people and as a result the country is experiencing pre-pandemic levels of unemployment.

Abela was also asked about a recent Cabinet meeting which took place at Inspire.  Here he praised those working at the facility for their love and dedication to the service they provide, and said that being there helped the government truly understand the need to sustain and invest in such services.

He said that it had also brought the government to appreciate the importance of the country’s national strategy for disability, which aims to integrate those with disabilities into the workplace so that they too can contribute to the country.

On the social issues involving rent, and the issues with pre-1995 rents, Abela once again slammed PN leader Bernard Grech for, he claimed, suggesting that those living in households with such rents should move out of their homes and into elderly homes instead.

Abela also spoke about the importance of continuing the vaccine drive, and emphasised the importance for the younger demographics to keep on getting vaccinated – saying that simply resting on the assumption that they are young, and hence strong and healthy enough not to take the vaccine, would be a mistake.

Speaking about Gozo, Abela said that business owners in Gozo had not only chosen the sister island to operate, but had continued to invest over there and create new quality jobs as well, despite the pandemic.

He said that from a transportation perspective, the 1 June start of the fast-ferry services between Malta and Gozo will be a “game changer” and will no doubt bring more tourism to Gozo as well.

He said that this is why Gozo’s character needs to be preserved – a reference to ongoing construction developments which have raised ire as of late.

He added that certain infrastructural projects, such as the 16 million Aquatic Sports centre in Gozo, are being completed at break-neck speed – noting that had the previous administration still been in power, these would have taken years to do.

“People don’t want a politics characterised by hate – they want a government which invests in them, in their infrastructure, and in their quality of life”, Abela said.

“Others today are having to deal with the fruits of the politics that they sowed”, Abela said in one last parting shot at the PN, after yet another week of internal trouble.


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