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MaltaToday 30 October 2022

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sostenibilità MALTA ĊERTEZZA U STABBILTÀ budget2023 CERTAINTY AND STABILITY FOR ENTERPRISES, FOR THE ENVIRONMENT, FOR YOU Government's commitment is for Malta and Gozo to continue moving towards a climate-neutral economy. Through the implementation of the Low Carbon Development Strategy, we aim to increase the percentage of renewable energy to 22% by 2050. We must continue to move in this direction and be more ambitious. As showcased by the budgetary measures, the Ministry of the Environment, Energy and Enterprise (MEEE) is committed to support investments in clean energy, water infrastructure, urban greening, sustainable enterprises, waste management and climate change mitigation. The international reality is known to all: the burdens that families and businesses in Europe have to shoulder due to exorbitant energy bills; Citizens who this winter will have to choose between heating their homes or feeding their families. It has been a year of intensive work to protect our families and businesses from this reality that is bringing many countries to their knees. In the face of this international crisis, we continue to offer support. The government has already invested over €400 million to assist in energy prices and the price of cereals. This investment will rise to a further €600 million next year. This commitment translates itself directly into people's pockets. This year, a family of three will save at least around €1,700 while a family of four saves at least €2,000. This commitment is also reflected in Government's negotiations at EU level. MEEE worked to avoid having businesses competing against each other: not to produce more, but to consume less energy. Thanks to the derogations achieved, Malta avoided weakening the competitiveness of its businesses, which would have led to job losses. At the same time, we will continue to encourage people to be more energy efficient and make use of renewable energy. Supporting businesses and helping workers Without government's intervention, the increase in electricity bills would have been such that for every €100 paid, consumers would now have to pay €230. For a small business, whose bill may reach €500 every three months, would go up to €1,200. If in 2008, people were forced to pay €100 million more to offset the increase in energy prices, today the Government is making good for €600 million – six times more than what families and businesses had to bear 14 years ago; A cost that rounds up to €70,000 per hour and almost 10% of total annual Government expenditure. €1 in €10 is going towards this support. This was also possible thanks to our updated policies in the energy sector. The diversification of sources gave us the flexibility to minimise purchases from the interconnector in a timely manner. This allowed the Government to absorb the cost, at an estimated €1,000 million over two years. A growing economy We are focused on safeguarding those industries that are delivering growth while cultivating a culture of innovation for new niches and economic sectors that contribute to sustainable growth. Over the past year, Malta Enterprise assisted in 35 Start-up projects, with a total investment of €22 million. A one-stop shop will be launched next year, under the Start-In-Malta cap offering assistance services for more start-ups. Malta will also seek to launch the EU Start-ups Summit, an international conference bringing some of the best European start-ups to Malta. Through Malta Enterprise: • A new Business Incubation Centre serving as a top-quality touch down facility for innovative start-ups that continue to diversify Malta's economy • €40 million for SMEs to benefit from grant opportunities • Double the financial assistance for all Maltese companies investing in digital and sustainable projects • Gozitan businesses as well as start-ups will continue to benefit from additional financial assistance of 10% in the form of a tax credit, which could double to 20% if companies invest in projects that reduce their carbon • Development of guidelines for companies to obtain ESG credentials • MicroInvest scheme to be extended to social enterprises

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