Last Updated on Wednesday, 8 July, 2020 at 3:28 pm by Andre Camilleri
As from today, around 440,000 citizens residing in Malta and who are over 16 years of age will be receiving the €100 vouchers which shall be distributed during the coming weeks. Minister for the Economy, Investments, and Small Businesses Silvio Schembri announced this when giving further details on the launch of the €100 vouchers, as part of the plan for the regeneration of our economy.
“Each person who was over 16 years of age by the 8th of June of this year will be receiving through registered post the five vouchers of €20 each. Last week, the voucher payment system for our businesses was launched. It is with great satisfaction to note that, to date, around 2000 Maltese and Gozitan businesses have activated their voucher business account. This means that they can start accepting these vouchers, with funds immediately being received in their bank account,” explained Minister Schembri, whilst adding that this will be effected through the use of an app, by scanning of the voucher itself, including the VAT receipt issued.
Minister Schembri said that, to ensure full transparency, the initiative would be run on a blockchain-based system which will ensure that each voucher is invalidated once scanned and the transaction completed, so that payment from vouchers reaches businesses on the same day.
“We have now set the ball rolling for a €44 million economic injection which shall generate economic activity for all during these three months. These vouchers must be used until the end of September and, consequently, we are expecting a resultant strong economic impact as part of the second phase plan to generate and stimulate the economy. This shall then be followed by the October budget, which will include significant measures aimed at strengthening our economy,” said Minister Schembri.
Four of the vouchers coloured in red, of €20 each amounting to €80, can be redeemed in hotels, accommodation, restaurants, bars and diving schools, whilst the other €20 voucher, coloured in blue, can be redeemed in retail and services, such as hair and beauty salons, retail shops – clothes, footwear, jewellery, shops with domestic items, sports clubs, museums, arts and culture centres, band clubs and others.
Minister Schembri referred to the recent European Commission report, which recognised the unprecedented successful efforts Malta has implemented, aimed to mitigate a negative economic impact. “In view of this strong certificate, as a government we retain our commitment in observing and analysing closely the economic situation, on which we shall draft more measures together with the stakeholders,” he said. Minister Schembri remarked that this is all part of the economic plan, which was established in March of this year, aimed at assisting the economy to get back on its feet.
“On account of the strides achieved in public health, as well as the economy, Malta is becoming a referral point for other countries. In fact, other European countries are now launching their own regeneration plans, which include replicating several measures we are implementing or have already implemented, including the voucher initiative. It is with great pride to see bigger countries approaching us for guidance regarding the methodology of the approach we have taken. This is clear evidence that we have implemented our strategy with diligence, in a short span of time, which yet rendered the desired impact,” said Minister Schembri.
The policy advisor within the Ministry for the Economy, Investments and Small Businesses Keith Abela said that vouchers are transferable, so that those persons who are bed-ridden and cannot use the vouchers themselves may pass them on to someone they trust.
He added that the vouchers can be used 24 hours after being delivered and can only be used once. “The vouchers should be presented to the cashier at the billing stage. The cashier must then print VAT receipt, scan QR code and scan VAT receipt. Businesses are obliged to collect and retain vouchers for auditing purposes,” explained Mr Abela.
The Chief Executive Officer of MIMCOL Stanley Mifsud explained the security features of the voucher, that is the use of the UV light method of verification for businesses, through which the €20 illuminates, as well as the right side of the voucher. He said that recipients are responsible for vouchers, that voucher QR code should not be damaged and that lost vouchers will not be re-issued. He explained that, for further assistance, contact can be made via email firstname.lastname@example.org, through helpline 8007 4904 or visit vouchersmimcol.com.