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A Brexit deal has been agreed between UK and EU negotiating teams before a meeting of European leaders in Brussels.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: "We've got a great new deal that takes back control."

The two sides have been working on the legal text of a deal, but it will still need the approval of both the UK and European parliaments.

The DUP has cast doubt on its sign off, saying they still cannot support it.

The Northern Irish party earlier released a statement saying they could not back proposals "as things stand", and - after the PM's announcement - said their statement "still stands".

Source: BBC

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Budget 2020: Positive, next steps should be for SMEs – GRTU

GRTU - Malta Chamber of SMEs saw plenty of positives in Budget 2020.

Paul Abela, President of the General Retailers and Traders Union, said that the GRTU had reacted to this budget positively, which in is words, “could not be otherwise.”

Among other proposals, Mr Abela referred to the proposed reduction of stamp duty on the transfer of a family business, and the tax reduction on the first 100 hours of overtime, as well as increasing the cost of living.

The government had also taken up the GRTU’s proposals to ensure adequate connectivity between Malta and Gozo.

The Government future step should be to enact another GRTU proposal – that of capping tax rates for SMEs to a maximum of 20%.

Budget 2020: What's in it for you

Business

• Overtime will be taxed at 15%, This measure will apply on the first 100 hours of overtime in a year, for those with a basic salary of not more than €20,000, this measure will not apply to management positions

• The reduction of 1.5% stamp duty on the transfer of a family business will continue

Self-employed

• Grant of up to €200,000 for contractors to scrap old machinery and buy new, less polluting models

• Extension of start-up schemes

Workers

• COLA increase of €3.49 per week

• Pensioners will receive an increase of €7 per week, inclusive of COLA

• One day will be added to leave

• A Tax rebate cheque for those earning under €60,000

Property

• New scheme will see people under 40 who cannot cover the 10% deposit to buy a house, eligible for a government interest-free loan up to maximum of €17,000, paid back over 15 years

• First time buyers scheme will apply on property value of €175,000, an increase from €150,000, and the maximum benefit will increase to €6,500 from €5,000

• Schemes for property purchases in Gozo, urban conservation areas, second time buyers and equity sharing will be retained

• Scheme to restore facades of old houses Irrestawra Darek extended for a further year

Environment

• Next year, the bottle return scheme will start

• Single-use plastic will be banned in phases starting from a ban on importation in 2021 and distribution in 2022

• Grant to help shops set up green corners where they can sell products by weight

• Schemes covering PV panels and water pumps will continue

• Those who introduced PV panels some years ago and whose pay back rate is running out will benefit from a €1,000 grant to buy their own battery to store electricity

• Lighting systems in all squares will be changed to renewable self-sufficient systems

• Malta Stock Exchange will open up for green bonds

Education

• VAT will be removed on educational and vocational services, including distance learning

Pensioners

Government will issue 62+ bonds targeting 6,500 pensioners

Gozo

• Gozo tunnel - The pre-qualification questionnaire will be issued in the coming weeks

Others

• Malta Enterprise will invest in open areas in industrial estates to make them greener and adequate meeting areas for employees

• Cash transactions in real estate, car, yacht, precious metals and art, purchases will be limited to €10,000

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final equality 2GRTU as the national business organisation representing the interest of SMEs has participated in the consultation exercise - ‘Gender Balance in Parliament Reform’ that seeks to make changes to the composition of our Parliament.  

GRTU welcomes the consultation paper and the policy initiative that is being taken. GRTU acknowledges that serious effort and commitment is required in order to overcome the remaining hurdles and obstacles that are holding, not just women, but valid individuals of any gender that cannot participate in politics with the aim of becoming MPs because being an MP with the current conditions is today very difficult.

There are a number of radical changes, proposed in the same consultation document, that must be further strengthened and exhausted before one considers making changes to our constitution to change the composition of our most important democratic institution – Parliament, on the basis of gender.

The gender corrective mechanism is not what females or anyone else interested in politics needs. What is needed is a real chance to make this opportunity a reality. Current conditions for MPs force them to dedicate their life to politics and setting aside full-time career aspirations and their families. This is the real hurdle keeping not just women but all valid individuals that want to choose to be active and present in their families and pursue a career that will help them not to struggle financially. It is inhumane to ask from our MPs to stay at work because their pay at Parliament just cannot sustain them, then, after work hours, be an MP and dedicate him/herself to politics and then also be an active parent.

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All Economic Operators are being informed that in accordance with the Transit Manual Working Document (TAXUD/A2/TRA/003/2016-EN), the proof of status is required at the final Union port of destination (discharge), issued and authenticated by the competent authority (T2L).

It is recommended that in these cases the proof of status accompanies the goods from the start of the transport operation. Proof of the customs status of Union goods through the invoice or transport document in lieu of the presentation of a T2L.

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GDPR - Are you prepared ?

GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation and is a European law that will come into force on the 25th of May 2018.

It is important that your business is aware of the changes that GDPR brings about as the fines imposed for non complaince are 4% of your turnover and up to 20 Million Euros !

Click here to learn more

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