Nearly 33,000 New Zealanders have applied for the unemployment benefit in the last five weeks showing why we need to get New Zealand working again, Opposition Leader Simon Bridges says.
“Today’s update from the Ministry of Social Development showing 33,000 Kiwis have joined the dole queue during the lockdown is incredibly sobering reading. That’s nearly as many people as live in Gisborne.
“This is simply the people who have applied for the unemployment benefit and doesn’t include those who aren’t eligible because they’re in relationships or are living off savings.
“Thanks to the sacrifices of Kiwis, we’ve flattened the Covid curve. However just having a low number of COVID-19 cases isn't success when we have tens of thousands out of work and more that are coming.
“Employers around the country are waiting for certainty, trying to decide whether to battle on or give up.
“We might be gearing up for a move to level two but it’s not over yet.
“Next week’s Budget will show New Zealand is in the deepest economic recession in a generation. We already know debt will skyrocket and deficits will be deep for an extended period of time.
“There’s no doubt billions of dollars will need to be invested to help get our economy up and running again post Covid. Our fear is that this Government will turn a $40 billion problem into a $100 billion problem.
“The Government need to carefully consider every spending decision they make because every dollar will have to be paid off with higher taxes and by future generations.
“Irresponsible economic management will put a mortgage on our children and our grandchildren's future.”