The Gozo Business Chamber, in a statement referring to Budget 2019, has said that “Gozo needs particular attention and specific incentives targeted at attracting investment to the island and helping the businesses already operating here to succeed.”
It said that it welcomed the economic progress being registered by the country “and will continue to strive so that the island region of Gozo will achieve the same economic performance as that of the whole nation.”
The Chamber highlighted what it said are the “positive measures” introduced in the budget – “those related to help being given to patients and their carers travelling to Malta, assisting students to find adequate residences, and reimbursing government workers and those in the private sector with part of their travel expenses.”
The GBC also made note of the fact that the Government has retained the favourable rate of 2% tax on this transfer of property, which has been an instigator of property transfers over the last year.
The Government’s “pledge to have the Barts School finished and accepting new students” and the project at Hondoq ir-Rummien for better quality water, was also welcomed by the Chamber.
The GBC went on to say “as one of the foremost promoters of the tunnel between Gozo and Malta, the Chamber is satisfied that the budget speech reports that a seminar was held in September where the results of the geological surveys conducted earlier on were communicated.”
The Chamber added that it would like to know what were these results and said that it will be “insisting with the relevant authorities to have this information communicated publicly.”
“We wish that the Government would show “more commitment in the acquisition of a fourth ferry between the two islands, the fast ferry service and an air link,” said the Chamber.
The GBC added that it also felt that “not enough is being done to improve the road infrastructure on the island, nor for the provision of better parking facilities to serve Gozo’s main retail concentration in Victoria.”
The Gozo Business Chamber concluded, “we feel that Gozo can perform better and participate more fully in the generation of wealth being created in Malta, if businesses on the island are given adequate tools to make up for the additional costs and other handicaps related to double insularity.”
Photograph by Alain Salvary