Last Updated on Friday, 25 August, 2023 at 9:52 am by Andre Camilleri
The Gozo Business Chamber’s budgetary document addresses three strategic areas for the island region of Gozo: targeted fiscal incentives, combating problems related to accessibility, and infrastructure.
This does not diminish from the importance of other areas, the GBC said in a statement Friday. Strategically Gozo’s drive to achieve net carbon neutrality prior to Malta should continue. In the energy sector Gozo should be the driving force for the whole nation. The Chamber believes that its long-term proposal of having a specialised institute on research which would test and deploy sustainable technologies on the island is a very valid one.
The same applies to its proposal for the creation of specific incentives to attract enterprises to the Gozo Innovation Hub in Xewkija. The success of specific Gozitan-based enterprises in areas such as Information Technology shows that the establishment of such enterprises on the island is not impossible. While Government has invested significantly in the Hub, and the second fibre optic link between the two islands (providing the required underlying infrastructure), enterprises need to be attracted to the Hub in order to reach its full potential.
The budget proposals earmarked in this document are addressing both urgent issues related to the impact of certain measures on the environment, the competitiveness of Gozitan-based enterprises, and also long-term measures which will see Gozo progressing in the right direction in a sustainable manner. We can only be competitive by being distinctive. Nonetheless it is important that we delineate exactly where we want to achieve this distinctiveness.
To this end while economic growth is important this cannot be achieved at all costs or in sectors, which will cause long-term harm to the island.
Here is a summary of the budgetary measures being proposed by the Gozo Business Chamber: Targeted Fiscal Incentives
• Align incentives in the property sector to Gozo’s socio-economic and environmental needs.
• Incentivise the finishing of the existing supply of property, whereby the end customer would be able to recoup part of the VAT paid, if the property is finished within a two year time frame. If the property finishings are done in such a manner that the property would be rendered more sustainable the part of the VAT to be recouped would be greater.
• Incentivising the transfer between property co-owners. This can take the form of reduced capital gains tax or stamp duty tax. By providing a financial benefit to co-owners who engage in these transactions, the government encourages the preservation of long-term property relationships and the maintenance of a property’s intrinsic qualities. This approach recognizes the value of fostering sustainable property management practices and creating incentives for owners to prioritize preservation over short-term financial gains.
Combating Problems Related to Accessibility
• Supporting the wholesale/import and retail sector through a scheme which would assist them to cover the added transportation costs (including the cost of labour) to provide their services on the main island of Malta.
• Assist Gozitan artisans to participate in artisan fairs being held on the main island of Malta.
• Implement the project for an ecological green park in Victoria with a multistory underground car park underneath.
• Implement the project for a new hospital for Gozo.
The full document may be found here