Gonzi explains tax cuts, incentives for Gozitan businesses
Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi said this morning that the party was proud of its record in Gozo but was also proud of its plans for the future.
"Everything that was done in Gozo was done by the PN," he said to applause at a rally in Nadur.
For the future, he said, the PN wanted to see sustainable economic development that ensured that Gozo retained its characteristics. Priority was to create jobs in Gozo for the Gozitans.
The future for Gozo were based on a tourism plan catering for domestic and overseas visitors, incentives for job-creating businesses and the setting up of a Gozo Regional Council.
He said more cruise ships would visit Gozo and there would be a fast, efficient ferry service between Grand Harbour and Gozo, catering also for cruise passengers who disembarked in Valletta Waterfront.
A future PN government would offer new schemes to encourage incentive travel in Gozo. Five star hotels would be given financial assistance and an easier Mepa process to help them invest in new facilities.
Four and three-star hotels as well as farmhouses used for accommodation would also benefit from financial incentives for upgrading.
Assistance would also be given for cultural events, notably Carnival and opera productions.
New measures would also be introduced for cheaper ferry crossings for those who stayed in Gozo overnight and for groups.
New businesses who employed a minimum of two Gozitans would have their income up to €200,000 exempt from income tax for two years.
He said the new Regional Council would include all MPs, councils and representatives of NGOs. The council would work closely with the Ministry for Gozo on economic development.
Studies would also continue on the feasibility of having a tunnel between Malta and Gozo. A call for tender for consultants to carry out studies on connections between the two islands had been issued, and if the tunnel proved feasible, the PN government would go for it, since it would lead to more job creation in Gozo.