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New support measures announced in Budget 2017

A number of support measures designed to further assist commercial and industrial operations were announced in the Budget 2017 speech. These shall be rolled out over the coming months.

The measures cover a variety of sectors and activities and include:

  • Assistance for the hospitality sector
    Two tax credits are aimed at the hospitality industry. One of the schemes will cover costs related to the renovation of hotels and restaurants and another tax credit will be provided to local restaurants to cover the costs for the engagement of a temporary chef with international expertise.
  • Financial assistance for the setting up of businesses by disadvantaged individuals
    Disadvantaged individuals will be offered financial support of up to €25,000 to set up their own business.
  • Tax credit to promote research and development
    Complementary to the current R&D schemes, Malta Enteprise will be launching another tax credit in relation to R&D expenses. Assistance will vary between 25% and 45% of project costs.
  • Promoting the development of digital games with a cultural theme
    Malta Enterprise will be launching a measure in the form of a tax credit of up to 30% for the development of digital games with a cultural theme.
  • Promoting energy efficiency measures
    A new measure designed to assist enterprises with high energy consumption to carry out energy audits will be launched, complementing the scheme to assist companies to invest in co-generation equipment initiated in 2016. Malta Enterprise will also be launching another scheme to assist undertakings with a high energy consumption to invest in equipment that would achieve a  higher energy efficiency.
  • Transport incentive for companies providing transport for employees
    Companies offering transport to their employees will be provided a tax deduction of 150%, up to a maximum of €35,000. To promote better use of resources, the maximum amount of assistance may be increased to €50,000 for companies that are willing to collaborate with other companies.

Further to the support measures, the Budget speech also announced measures designed to reduce the bureaucracy faced by entrepreneurs. As from January 1st, 2017 the number of days required to set up a business in Malta shall be reduced from 30 days to 3 days.  Furthermore, retail and other commercial activities (excluding operations requiring approval from the Health Department) will no longer require a trading licence in order to operate.

To facilitate investment in Gozo, the island's digital infrastructure will be strengthened through the laying of another fibre optic link which will provide redundancy and enhance the quality of digital connectivity.