2-year moratorium on govt regulations needed as business closures spiral

National’s Economic Development spokesperson Todd McClay is calling on the Government to commit to a two-year moratorium on additional government costs on businesses as New Zealanders struggle under the weight of border closures and a slowing economy.

“New Zealand is facing an unprecedented level of business closures without urgent government action.

“In 2019 New Zealanders created 10,500 new businesses. In January this year there were 1000 fewer than the same time one year ago – a net loss of 11,500 in the last calendar year.

“The business closure rate increased by a significant 130 per cent in 2020.”

Mr McClay says that behind every business that has closed are hard-working New Zealanders who deserve a Government focused on reducing cost and burden, not imposing more.

“The 1 April changes coming into effect this week, the minimum wage increase combined with doubling of sick leave, extra public holidays and union-heavy labour law changes, will be the final nail in the coffin for many Kiwi businesses.

“These costs alone equate to $2.8 billion before accounting for the burden of extra government red tape.

“With the Government refusing to announce the date for a trans-Tasman bubble they are condemning thousands of New Zealand businesses to the scrap heap and that means more job losses for Kiwis already struggling under increasing costs of rent and food.”

This month alone we’ve seen the Whakatane Mill which has operated for 80 years, Mountain Air Ruapehu (33 years), Espressoholic Wellington (30 years), and O’Connell’s Bistro Auckland (24 years) announce they’re closing.

“At a time when fruit is left rotting on trees and essential industries can’t get workers across the border, the Government shouldn’t be making it harder for Kiwi businesses to pay their staff.

“New Zealanders need a Government that’s on their side. They deserve better.”