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Fund to finance start-ups

A new Nationalist government would set up a special development fund to provide capital for people to start their own business, Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi said yesterday.

He said this proposal, announced in the unapproved Budget 2013, would complement another PN plan to grant a two-year tax holiday for those under 25 who wanted to start a business, with National Insurance contributions to be credited by the Government.

The same proposal would apply to people over 45, while the tax exemption would be extended to three years for women and people in Gozo. Gozitans who start a business in Gozo and employ at least two people would benefit from a €200,000 tax credit.

Speaking at the end of a tour of shops in Mosta, Dr Gonzi said businesses had particularly welcomed the night-time tariff proposal whereby those who left their fridges and freezers on all night would benefit from special electricity rates.

Dr Gonzi also an-nounced the publication of a legal notice that will bring into effect one of the Budget measures for a tax exemption on family business transfers.

He lambasted Opposition leader Joseph Muscat for adopting similar measures to those announced by the Government in the last Budget.

As Dr Gonzi walked along the main shopping street, stopping at every shop to see how they were doing, some owners reported higher sales while others said business was slower than usual.

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