Prime Minister Robert Abela on Wednesday announced that the COVID-19 wage supplement, a lifeline for businesses worst impacted by the pandemic, will be extended throughout April under its current form.

It was due to expire in March, and, with the number of active cases back on the rise, and the resulting impact this can have on economic activity, the extension will be met positively by those still benefiting from it.

The wage supplement is disbursed based on a tapering system, with worst-hit companies in terms of revenue receiving the full €800 monthly supplement per employee.

Dr Abela, speaking at a party event in Msida, thanked the resilience shown by the private sector throughout the pandemic, adding that with a Labour Party in Government, the business community knows where it stands.

He also heavily refuted claims that tax-refund cheques currently being disbursed to local tax-payers was not an electoral gimmick, evidenced by the cheques disbursed by Labour Governments on an annual basis, promising to keep doling out cheques every year.

Dr Abela also heavily refuted claims by the Opposition Leader that a Labour Government would ask businesses to repay the COVID wage supplement, topping almost €800 million in total so far, back to the Government within a period of five years.

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