gozo

The Gozo Business Chamber has called for the creation of a new scheme incentivising the renovation of old buildings on the island.

Making the suggestion as part of its Budgetary Proposals for 2022, the Gozo Chamber stated that “incentives should be intrinsically tied to making a building more energy-efficient and lessening its carbon footprint.”

This scheme, it said, could be especially beneficial in particular areas, such as the city centre of Victoria, where a number of old buildings currently stand unused and dilapidated.

Additionally, the scheme would introduce a reduced property tax regime, which fits houses that are bought to be renovated and lived in and not redeveloped into apartment blocks.

Aside from this proposal, the Gozo Chamber also called for the Government to start the process for the establishment of a specialised faculty on the island targeting the green economy and other associated sectors.

There should also be an international call for expressions of interest for a specialised company to manage the Digital Innovation Hub as an incubator for start-ups in the digital sector.

For the agriculture sector, and amongst other suggestions, the lobbying group called for the provision of financial assistance to young farmers to encourage them to remain working in the sector.

Regarding transport and connectivity, the Gozo Chamber called for increased incentives for residents to shift to electric vehicles, including better grants when purchasing electric vehicles and better charging rates on private charging infrastructure in Gozitan homes.

Reduced ferry tickets should also be provided for Maltese residents crossing over to Gozo with electric vehicles and better rates when they charge their vehicles on Gozo’s public charging infrastructure.

A “complete shift” of Gozo’s public transport system, to feature smaller and more frequent electric buses should be introduced, according to the Gozo Chamber, complemented by the use of larger buses on particular routes.

It also reiterated its call for the creation of an air link between Malta and Gozo and the implementation of a permanent link between the islands.

Finally, a process should be kicked off to establish a new sustainable multistorey underground car park in Victoria, it said.

The Gozo Chamber made these suggestions last week, before Prime Minister Robert Abela announced that next year’s budget will be unveiled on 11th October.

Work is currently underway on it, meaning that many of Malta’s business lobbies can be expected to make suggestions for inclusion in the coming weeks.

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