A number of measures that were announced in the Budget will come into force this month that will help ease the burden of costs faced by Gozitan students and workers in Malta, as well as relatives of patents undergoing treatment in Malta
The Minister for Gozo Caruana, said the four measures being introduced will provide direct assistance and will make a big difference in the lives of all those who will benefit.
Dr Caruana said that the travel reimbursement scheme for patients is open to those travelling between the two islands to government hospitals for cancer treatment, renal dialysis, or for operations. The financial assistance will also be given to an accompanying adult.
She explained that as well as the cost of the ferry ticket, additional help will be given to ease the burden of the cost of accommodation in Malta and Gozo as appropriate: if the patient has a hospital appointment before 8.30am, and the patient and accompanying adult require accommodation the night before, assistance will be provided up to a maximum of € 45 per night.
Also starting this month Gozitan government workers who travel daily between the two islands and use organised collective transport to work, will benefit from €1.50 a day, totalling € 650 a year.
Teachers and LSAs who work fewer days a year because of the summer holidays, will be granted € 525 per year.
The Minister said that the benefit for the above two schemes will be divided in two instalments: the first payment covering the period January to June and the second instalment covering from July to December. Applications for these schemes can be submitted in July
Gozitan workers employed within the private sector in Malta will be given a refund on the cost of their ferry ticket, thereby benefitng from € 300 per year, which the Minister said, will be divided into two instalments as in the case of government workers, the application date is also the same.
The Minister for Gozo concluded by saying that these initiatives are the result of the Government’s commitment “to hear and give heed to the suggestions put forward by their respective organisations and are intended to continue to assist and improve the quality of life for Gozitans in Gozo.”
Applications are available for these schemes through the Ministry for Gozo website 
Photograph: MGOZ/Terry Camilleri