Fenech explains Budget measures in personalised letter to self-employed
In a letter sent to all registered self-employed, Finance Minister Tonio Fenech has pledged a series of initiatives to assist the vast category of businesses.
“Whoever is in business or working as a self-employed knows that economic stability and job creation are important to increase trade and commerce in our country,” Fenech said in his personalised letter to the self-employed, a copy of which was seen by Business Today.
He explained how the world was passing through an economic crisis which had left its effect on “every country, including Malta. In the budget we have made sound choices”
Fenech added that in the Budget 2010, “the Government would continue focusing on job creation, incentives for the self-employed, and incentives for tourism”.
One of the initiatives mentioned by Fenech in his letter was a micro-credit financing up to €25,000, “so that you have more money to invest, benefit from advantageous interest rates and you are not asked for the guarantees that banks usually ask from”.
Another initiative from the Finance Ministry was a 40 per cent tax credit up to a maximum of €25,000 “so that in the next two years you can refurbish your business, buy more modern equipment and also employ new persons,” Fenech pledged.
Moreover, another incentive will assist adaptations of places of work for disabled people.
Finally, the Finance Minister is pledging to fight bureaucracy by not requesting information which is already available at one Government department by another one.
“We will simplify the licensing system, and we will create a one-stop shop so that people are granted assistance about EU programmes and funds that you can benefit from,” he added.
To this effect, the Finance Ministry has created a free phone number 8007 2215 to enable self-employed to obtain more information about these programmes for the self-employed.
Asked by Business Today to elaborate more on the interest that these incentives have created among the self-employed, a spokesperson for the Finance Minister told this newspaper that interest in the tax credit and micro-credit schemes had been “substantial with hundreds of calls reaching the offices of the Micro Business Support Unit during the first week following the sending of the mentioned information letter, along with a number of emails or enquires in person at the Ministry.
“Although most of the interested businesses were at this stage only seeking clarifications on the methodology of the schemes, on their applicability to their businesses and the time-frames involved, there seems to be a genuine interest by Maltese and Gozitan SMEs to renovate their businesses, to invest in new machinery or technology or to employ new personnel through these unique incentives being offered,” he added.