Prime Minister Robert Abela has announced that the COVID-19 wage supplement will be extended beyond January.

The benefit was meant to come to an end last year. But in December, the Prime Minister announced that Cabinet had approved a one-month extension for the scheme to continue in January. 

While Dr Abela did not go into too much detail about the new extension during an interview on One Radio on Sunday, he said it would apply only to certain sectors.

“We can afford to keep helping business, we have the financial means,” Abela said, while acknowledging the difficulties faced by hotels and restaurants in recent weeks.

However, he also warned businesses not to become dependent on it.

“We need to incentivise innovation. We want to discourage dependence. Good times are ahead. We took a calibrated approach,” he said.

The Prime Minister’s announcement follows repeated calls by the Nationalist Party and the Chamber of SMEs to further extend the wage supplement until at least March, particularly for the hospitality and catering industries.

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