Institutions / Legislation - Malta
Country Focus: Malta
Maltese industry professionals to benefit from the government’s full-wage support scheme
- The Malta Producers’ Association has welcomed the government’s action
The Maltese audiovisual industry is not exempt from the chaos and uncertainty caused by the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. Last Thursday, the Malta Producers’ Association (MPA) expressed its “deep disappointment” at the fact that the local audiovisual industry was excluded from Annex A of the support measures approved to rescue the economic sectors hit by the crisis.
The precarious situation of the Maltese professionals was also further elaborated on in one of the communiqués published on the MPA institutional page: “During the government’s latest financial aid measures announced by Prime Minister Robert Abela on the evening of 24 March, which were aimed at supporting the worst-affected sectors, it was naturally understood that the film and TV industry would be included as part of the ‘creative arts and entertainment’ category. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, there is no film and television production activity happening around the world, and Malta is no exception. All foreign productions that were meant to shoot here have shut down, local production has halted, and clearly, the sector is amongst those most heavily hit. Hundreds of freelance crew members, talents, and film and TV production companies have been left in the lurch with zero income.”
However, the situation has changed for the better this week. The government has finally approved the inclusion of the film and television industry in the measures provided by Annex A. The provisions of this annex, published last week, aim to rescue a range of firms and sectors, which will benefit from government financing of €800 per month, per employee. It will cover about 60,000 employees in the private sector and in self-employment, but still exclude over 100,000 workers in other fields.
The good news was welcomed by the association: “The MPA is particularly satisfied that, through this inclusion, the hundreds of film and television industry crew, technicians and talentswho work so hard behind the scenes and in front of the camera, bringing all sorts of audiovisual content and entertainment to the homes of so many people, are being given a lifeline to help them get through these difficult and uncertain times. We trust and hope that all people in all professional sectors will be able to return to doing what they do best in the best way possible before toolong.”
Hopefully, this provision will be an initial milestone on the path to enabling the island’s industry to enjoy a new, brighter life.
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