Twenty-two months ago, the pandemic reached our shores. Throughout all these months, not for a single moment did the Maltese government shy away from taking important decisions, one after the other, all of which aimed at supporting our workers and their employers, our families and their ambitions, our social fabric and the future of our economy.
Almost two years down the line, the results are there for everyone to see; our commitment at protecting lives and livelihoods delivered economic resiliency and an exceptionally strong labour market.
During the pandemic, we managed to create nothing short of 14,000 new employment opportunities and we achieved the highest employment participation rate ever registered.
Today we have fewer individuals looking for a job than we had back in 2019 and a historically low unemployment rate.
Ours is the only eurozone country which has effectively registered an increase in employment activity during the height of the pandemic.
Undeniably, the wage supplement was indispensable for us to achieve all this.
This is why we shall be extending this financial assistance to the month of February in the present format to all companies that still need assistance, irrespective of the sector they operate in.
We are doing so because we are sensitive to the fact that some aspects of our economy still need an element of support to navigate the uncertainty brought about by the recent spike in Omicron cases.
It is a fact that this is coming at a significant expense to public finances.
However, we are indeed aware that the economic cost of unplugging support at this sensitive juncture of our economic recovery could derail the efforts and investments that were made throughout these months.
We are supporting our workers, our self-employed and our enterprises because we want them to be on a much stronger footing in order to bring real change to our economic model in the years to come.Ours is the only eurozone country which has effectively registered an increase in employment activity during the height of the pandemic– Miriam Dalli
Beyond the pandemic, we need to ensure that our economic model evolves into one which truly ensures a transition towards a decarbonised economy.
An evolution which would aim at improving the standard of living and the quality of life of our people through an economic model based on environmental sustainability and a constant ambition to strengthen the social fabric of all our society.
In the same way we have been a strong and reliable partner for our business community during these unprecedented months, we will continue to take the right decisions as we remain resolute in leading this historical economic evolution.
We will keep on supporting and encouraging a growing number of Maltese businesses, which, across different sectors, are effectively increasing their shareholder value by embracing greener and more sustainable business models.
We have seen this as we launched Malta’s ESG portal, another initiative that will be supporting the flow of private capital towards sustainable companies.
Our intention is to keep supporting our industry through traditional schemes and incentives but also via innovative financial products that can deliver tangible green growth in the future.
The social cohesion and the ability to align the interests of different stakeholders behind one common goal is allowing us to successfully manage the uncertainties brought about by the pandemic.
This unity among different segments of society, all of which are, however, equally willing on delivering a better economic model, will ensure prosperity and a better quality of life for all.
Article Original Source : https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/time-for-an-evolution-miriam-dalli.929038