Incentivising the diversification of Gozo’s economy and continue increasing the links to Malta in a bid to improve connectivity are among Government’s top priorities in relation to the sister island.
Speaking at the first meeting taking place during this legislature of the Gozo Regional Committee of the Malta Council for Economic and Social Development (MCESD), Parliamentary Secretary for Social Dialogue Andy Ellul said Gozo’s double insularity needs to be addressed through strong incentives.
He singled out a subsidy of 40 per cent for businesses investing in Gozo and a tax exemption on the first €30,000 of income earned by foreign professionals relocating there.
The two proposals were part of the Labour Party’s electoral manifesto.
Minister for Gozo Clint Camilleri meanwhile lauded the committee for the positive impact its ideas have had on the island. He said that open and constructive social dialogue results in innovative ideas and solutions, including to problems that cause by Gozo’s changing social fabric.
A few months ago, the Gozitan business community joined the chorus of voices, including those of residents, NGOs and local councils, warning of the “ruin” of Gozo due to overdevelopment.
Minister Camilleri said that the Government is committed to improve Gozo’s connectivity, although detail on what this might have meant remain sparse.
Dr Ellul added that work is required to turn every challenge into an opportunity, and observed that having important stakeholders sitting around the table already means that the willingness to take action is there.
“Now we need to continue this dialogue and continue working for a better Gozo,” he concluded.
Main image: (L) Chairperson of the Gozo Regional Committee Joe Borg and (R) Minister for Gozo Clint Camilleri
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